Beef Market Update: U.S. Thanksgiving brings some hunger to the cattle markets


It’s Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S., which can be a big weekend for the cattle markets, as we swing into the full holiday season.

This statement proved true this week as it was a very positive week in the U.S. cattle markets.

What has happened, and how does this translate into the Canadian markets? Anne Wasko, of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, joins RealAgriculture’s Lyndsey Smith to discuss, below:


  • It’s a short week, as yesterday was U.S. thanksgiving
  • The U.S. cash market did not hold back
  • We saw Texas and Kansas trade early in the week $154-$155
  • We also saw the Nebraska markets $157-$168 live, which is $3 higher. Their dressed trade in the north was $245, delivered
  • What’s driving that?
  • U.S. cattle feeders are current
  • U.S. Cattle on Feed report continues to tell us that’s going to tighten more right on into the first quarter of 2023
  • Last week the U.S. did have their November Cattle on Feed report — we saw the October placements in the U.S. down 6 per cent
  • Total on feed numbers on November 1 in the U.S. were down 2 per cent
  • The data continues to support tighter supplies are here, the markets are showing that
  • Wholesale price cut out in the U.S. closed Wednesday night at $252.50, $5 lower than last week
  • This trend is not really surprising — typically ,we see the fall seasonal high ahead of U.S. thanksgiving
  • Rosy picture in the U.S., but not terrific news in Canada
  • Wasko wishes she had a different headline, but the storyline for 2022 in Western Canada is going to be remembered as one of the poorest basis years other than 2014 (due to mCOOL), and 2003-2005 (due to BSE)
  • Trade barrier issues then, but not now
  • Record on feed now in Western Canada which is part of the reason to blame
  • Big supplies of cattle, record carcass weights still kicking around
  • Last week steer carcass weight in Canada was 966 pounds — that’s 22 pounds over last year and 30 pounds over the five-year average.
  • All of those things are just not letting us get out from this dark cloud of very beak basis
  • Right from the get-go in 2022 was a poor start. As we flip the calendar to December, it’ll be the 12 months of disappointing basis. It started with record on-feed numbers this year
  • Feeder cattle and slaughter cattle exports are both up — trade isn’t the problem
  • Cattle is moving just fine, it’s not a border issue, either
  • There is a glimmer of hope in terms of those on-feed numbers
  • We did see the October placements in Western Canada down 11 per cent, but it’s been much slower than the chance we’ve seen in the U.S.
  • Fall run has been solid
  • We’re looking at eight weeks of a pretty steady calf market
  • A U.S. market that’s $4-5 higher is almost like salt in the wound when prices are moving that good south of the border

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