First quarter of 2023 saw record high prices in the cattle industry

The cattle industry is enjoying some record high prices this spring.

The executive director of Canfax in Calgary, Brenna Grant says the first quarter of 2023 has been a good one for both cow/calf producers and feedlots.

“We saw fed cattle in Alberta reach new record highs in mid-March and are continuing to see one of the strongest spring rallies in 15 years,” said Grant. “We are seeing leverage shift from the packer to the feedlot. Across North America, we see fed cattle supplies tightening up.”

She says there are indicators that the cattle sector will remain strong later this year.

“Livestock price insurance is providing coverage levels above 3 dollars a pound for calves [for] September, October, November, and I think that’s a really good gauge for producers as they look to this fall.” Grant said, adding there should be an opportunity this fall to rebuild equity for producers.

Grant says the last time prices were high was in 2015, and hopes they will be exceeded.

“When we look at where we’re set up today, not just for beef but for pork and poultry as well, we really need to push through for a true super cycle to end up at a new price level.”

To this point, she says the traditional price spread between beef, pork and poultry have been up-and-down, but have come back to their historical averages.

“As long as we follow that historical trend, we should be okay,” Grant said.

(With files from CJWW)

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