The final numbers are starting to roll in for 2019 beef markets, and it appears that Canada is well-positioned for another good year.

In this episode of the Beef Market Update, RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney and Gateway Livestock’s Anne Wasko take a walk through 2019, considering the impacts of African swine fever, and where Canadian beef sits in terms of quality, traceability, and supply.

We’re in great shape to maximize markets for 2020, says Wasko.

Prices have started strong for the fat cattle market, and with yearling movement, there is solid support for the feeder market as well.

For 2019, Western Canadian slaughter numbers were up five per cent. “(We) didn’t quite crack 2.5 million head in federally-inspected plants, but nevertheless, that’s going to be the biggest since 2004.”

Though there’s no final 2019 trade data yet available, Wasko sees the cattle-on-feed numbers strong — up around 9 per cent for Saskatchewan and Alberta.

And perhaps one of the major themes of 2019? Consumers were willing to pay for quality, with the average spread between AAA and AA up 17 per cent over 2018.

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