Cattle markets have remained strong, although we saw a technical correction lower on the futures market this week.
“Maybe we’re getting a little numb to it, but futures markets continue to be extremely explosive whenever they tend to move. Up until this week, the market’s been building to recent highs, but futures markets, led by live cattle and feeder cattle, were off pretty significantly for a couple of days,” notes Anne Wasko, on the road in BC’s cattle country in this Beef Market Update, recorded on Friday, Feb. 23.
Cash prices recently hit $130 in the U.S., representing a 25 percent increase from last fall. “That’s on the high end of ranges for moves in terms of going from fall lows to spring highs.”
Some breaks in winter weather have boosted market activity in Western Canada, with fed cattle prices reaching the mid-to-upper C$160s, she notes.
Looking forward, Wasko says strong demand — the story of 2017 — will be needed to maintain these prices, leading into some discussion about upcoming wholesale numbers and the importance of market access through trade deals like the TPP and NAFTA.
Here’s Anne’s conversation with Kelvin Heppner: