GFM Network News


Beef demand soars as consumers ‘aggressively’ stock up

Surge in sales accompanied by a jump in people looking online for recipes

Canada’s beef demand has been strong during the pandemic. “Unlike previous disease outbreak issues, COVID-19 has not been about food safety or consumer confidence or issues with food products,” Canada Beef president Michael Young said during a recent online town hall. “Beef demand at retail is up 50 to 70 per cent. Consumers have aggressively […] Read more

Sean McGrath has some more thoughts on what might benefit the Canadian beef industry.

A vision of what the beef industry needs: Part 2

Canadian beef industry needs to think big to optimize its potential

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a three-part series by Alberta rancher and consultant Sean McGrath with some thoughts on actions to improve the Canadian beef industry. In Part 1, McGrath outlined the value of developing a vision statement for his own farm. Here are more thoughts on what he might include in a […] Read more


Lower supply outlook strengthens cattle prices

Market Update: The market is not getting more bearish but rather looking neutral to bullish

Alberta fed cattle were trading in the range of $137 to $138 in mid-October, up approximately $4 from average September values. Beef production during October appears to be coming in lower than anticipated. At the same time, retail and restaurant demand appears to be coming in higher than expected due robust consumer spending. Looking forward, […] Read more

Producers urged to sell earlier this fall

Market Update: Market expected to go lower heading into the fourth quarter of 2017

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $159 to $163 in late June, down from highs during the first week of May of $197. The market has come under pressure as market supplies build on both sides of the border and carcass weights increase. U.S. cattle-on-feed numbers reached a historical high on […] Read more


Cattle market endures volatility

Market Update: Beef oversupply will be an issue unless consumer spending picks up

Alberta fed cattle prices reached up to the range of $195 to $197 during the first week of May due to tight market-ready supplies and adverse weather in the U.S. southern Plains. The futures market has been trading at a sharp discount to the cash trade throughout winter and spring, causing feedlots to be aggressive […] Read more

Despite the headlines, ag does a good job

Hart Attacks: It’s a challenge to produce crops and livestock and manage consumer perception as well

The good name of agriculture has taken a few hits this spring. They don’t necessarily link to Canadian farms, but I’m sure even a global event making headlines has some impact with consumers wondering about what goes on with their food and the environment. First, JBS meat packers in Brazil — the worlds largest meat […] Read more


Consumer spending favours beef market

Market Update: Food prices have been down, so shoppers have more money for beef

The fed and feeder cattle markets continue to hold value despite the year-over-year increase in beef production. Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $175 to $177 in late April. Wholesale beef prices have been surprisingly strong as beef demand continues to exceed expectations. Major economic indicators are fairly encouraging which should […] Read more

Short-term gains, long-term pains

The market still needs to discourage beef production — and that hurts

Fed and feeder cattle prices have been percolating higher recently as the markets adjust to lower-than-expected first-quarter beef production. Alberta fed cattle prices have been hovering in the range of $162 to $165, which is approximately $25 above break-even pen closeout values. Healthy feedlot margins allowed feedlots to bid up feeder cattle prices. Larger-frame steers […] Read more


Market recovery still a year away

Market Update: Production is still high, start of beef herd contraction possible in late 2017

On top of the CBOT building in Chicago stands a statue of “Ceres” — the Greek goddess of grain crops and fertility. An old myth amongst traders is that after a major bull run in a market when traders usually did very well, the Greek goddess wanted her money back. Fed cattle prices have been […] Read more

More thoughts on market options

You may not need a price premium to see benefits of preconditioned calves

Market analyst Jerry Klassen in his recent column isn’t painting a very bright cattle price outlook picture heading into this winter and early into 2017. An oversupply of beef in the U.S. and Canada is holding prices down. And of course those pork guys continue to push more product out the door — a lot […] Read more