Beef Market Update: Canadian slaughter numbers only 2 per cent lower than 2019, year-to-date


It’s U.S. Thanksgiving week, and it felt like a bit of an odd week with the markets being closed on Thursday and partially open on Friday. However, never fear — we’ve still got the Beef Market Update for you!

Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange says that because of the holiday, the U.S. did get a lot of cash kicking into gear on Wednesday.

“We did see a little better money U.S. trade in the south — $111. That’s a dollar higher than the previous week. In the north – $111, or $172 dressed. So that’s kind of how the holiday trade was,” she explains.

It’s really hard to compare the cutout values during COVID-19, but the choice cutout was $245 this week, which she notes is $7 higher than last week.  This speaks highly of beef demand.

Looking at seasonal historic patterns, we typically  see prices dip after this U.S. holiday weekend. However, Wasko says from where we were last year we are still about $10 higher in cutout value, which is pretty solid — seeing as 2020 has been the year it’s been.

Alongside the cutout value, it’s also important to take a look at volumes — slaughter numbers — on both sides of the border. The U.S. has been a bit slower due to the holiday season this week, but Canada has experienced some really strong numbers.

“This is our only way out of the backlog problem… we’ve got to have cattle processed. You cannot fault what has gone on so far at all. Last week’s fed cattle harvest in Canada was the largest since July of this year. Absolutely amazing for this time of year. We don’t usually put in our biggest kills of the year in November,” Wasko emphasizes. “And just to broaden it out, in a total year-to-date 2020 way, even with all the problems that happened back in April in May in terms of packing plant issues and disruptions, our year-to-date kills for fed cattle is only 2 per cent smaller. So much has been made up — it’s absolutely amazing.”

Check out the full conversation between Anne Wasko and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney, below:

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