Beef Market Update: Fall run sees lowest price on slaughter cows since 2010


As November approaches quickly, many are asking where cattle producers are at with fall run, and what the market is looking like this year.

Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange explains in our latest Beef Market Update that in order to understand where the market is with cows coming to town, we need to look at fed cattle sales. In Alberta, they weren’t exactly where one would hope they would be.

“Dressed is $3-$6 lower. So even though the U.S. had a jump, we saw local trade lower this week. That brings us down to about $257 delivered, here in Alberta. I think that’s going to put us at an average of about $154,” she says. “I think the storyline is that there is lots of fed cattle in Western Canada here in the queue. Our fed cattle slaughter this year is up nine per cent. Weights are up six pounds, year-to-date. Bottom line, there’s lots of beef.”

Adding to the low market is the amount of cows coming to town, as the drought was so extensive and deep in so many areas. The positions many producers are put in — whether it’s a lack of feed or the cost of feed — is causing cows to move in a big way.

“What that’s done to price in a very short period of time, just in this month of October, if we average this week in the mid ’50s say on slaughter cows, that means it will have dropped 25 bucks a hundred just in the month of October here in Alberta. If you take a 1400 pound cow — lets call that an average weight — that’s $350 less per head in the space of 30 days. These are the lowest prices we’ve seen on slaughter cows since the fall of 2010.”

In The U.S., there was a bit of positivity, as they’ve crawled out of the cash trade slump, where numbers weren’t seeming to go any higher than $125 in the live market.

“Cash trade is finally a couple bucks higher on their live market. In the south, trade ended up at $126, and in the north $126-$127, and $2 dressed,” Wasko explains. “I wouldn’t call this explosive, we’ve just broken out of the range. It feels just like you’ve seen some rain after a drought and you think ok, it can still rain. Yes we can trade U.S. cash cattle above $125.”

Check out the full conversation between RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney and Anne Wasko, below:


Feedlot placements decrease 3 per cent year-over-year in October Cattle on Feed report

“Another drought year would be more than our pocketbook could stand,” says Alberta rancher

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