Beef Market Update: The Christmas calm is coming; November basis numbers below par


It’s been a quiet week on the cash market. According to Anne Wasko, of Gateway Livestock Exchange, she calls it a bit of a “see-saw week” as the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend just wrapped up.

“There’s bids out there that are kind of similar to last week, at $116 from southern U.S. cattle feeders, and $119 or higher, so we’ll see what happens,” Wasko says.

She adds it’s somewhat of the same thing happening in Western Canada, as there was a little bit of trade around $250, and then bids got pulled back to $248. Adding that not a pile of trades happened even in Alberta, due to the  Thanksgiving lull.

In regards to that, Haney asks Wasko if the markets will continue to be calm as we head into the holiday season.

“Quite often (south of the border) there’s some fill-in buying to get through their next two big times in the U.S. (that) being Christmas and New Years, so there’s some fill-in going on for that, which will kind of get done this week, but certainly after that, things do tend to get quieter as we finish off the end of the year,” she says.

On the production side of things, Wasko points out this last week there was a big kill and should be the same for next week; however, she says due to the timing of Christmas and New Years kills will become considerably smaller.

Looking forward on the demand side of things, Wasko believes the economy will play a big role on both sides of the border. She calls demand in 2018 very good and even better than most thought it would be with the south playing a big role.

One thing to note would also be the November basis numbers. “November is going to go down as the only month in 2018 where we saw spot fed cattle basis below par, it came off at two and a half dollars under the U.S. Every other month this year, we’ve averaged above the U.S. market,” Wasko says adding that she wonders if this is a sign looking forward or is it just an or is just an aberration for the month.

Not to worry just yet though. If you can recall, back in January 2018, there was a positive 12, and as we’re not far from the 2019 calendar, Wasko says we could potentially see a pretty serious year-over-year change in basis.

Hear more from RealAg Radio host, Shaun Haney, and Anne Wasko from Gateway Livestock Exchange as they chat about the latest in the beef market.

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