Basis beefs up cattle prices

Basis beefs up cattle prices
Jan 03, 2019

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The new year looks promising for Canadian cattle producers

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer

Strong basis in the cattle markets last year served as a boost for cattle producers and the entire beef sector.

All classes of cattle experienced higher prices in 2018, a Discover Westman article said yesterday. Finished cattle, feeder cattle, calves and cows all benefited from a strong basis.

“Certainly, the basis, the relationship to the U.S. market, was as strong as we’ve ever seen,” Anne Wasko, a cattle rancher and president of Cattle Trends, said in the article.

“Prices were as close to the U.S. market as we’ve ever seen.”

The movement towards larger American herds and smaller Canadian herds could have played a role in strengthening basis. Canadian beef also experienced growing demand domestically and internationally, the article said.

“We had some very strong market export markets and we don’t have all of the 2018 data in yet,” Wasko said.

“For example, just in October, we had Japan up 55 per cent.

“There are some great export (and) demand pieces. All those things kind of (came) together and made our Canadian cattle prices stronger than the U.S.”

And 2019 looks like another promising year for cattle producers.

Recent trade agreements and a strong forecasted basis should help to keep cattle prices up, the article said.  

JoffBarnes/E+ photo


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