Beef Market Update: Green grass, shorter supplies, and firing up the grilling season


Rain makes grain, sure, but rain also makes green grass which makes for a very happy Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, who joins Shaun Haney for this episode of the Beef Market Update.

Green grass in many parts of the Prairies is a welcome change compared to the last few years, and it’s nice to see the cow/calf operator breathing a little sigh of relief, at least for now.

Looking to the markets and heading in to the U.S. Memorial Day long weekend, cash markets improved to their best level since March, but weren’t super busy. Wasko says some of that market calm can be attributed to supplies being strong ahead of the kickoff of the grilling season.

Speaking of supplies, market expectations are for a slightly lower or stable cattle-on-feed number, based on smaller April placements, finally. Steer carcass weights also climbed in the U.S. which goes against the seasonal trend, but the economics make sense (cheaper gains), Wasko says.

In Canada, feeders are looking at strong numbers, as they are more current, and carcass weights have dropped accordingly. A strong basis presented some opportunities for feeders, Wasko says, and they now enter June really current which is a good spot to be in heading into the summer doldrums.

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