GFM Network News


Adverse weather has had an impact on the U.S. fed cattle market in 2019.

Beef prices weather the weather

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The U.S. beef market is proving to be remarkably resilient this year. Summer heat has finally given way to cooler weather. But beef demand held up remarkably well in the heat and domestic demand in July was actually better than last year. Now the market has the Labor Day holiday behind it, which usually boosts […] Read more

The U.S. meat and livestock industry has a comprehensive price reporting system that is the envy of the world.

Kay: Price reporting invaluable to livestock and meat industries

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Good market information, particularly regarding prices, is the lifeblood of the livestock and meat industry, in which millions of dollars change hands every day of the week. “Good” information, however, must be accurate and unbiased, as comprehensive as possible, timely and easily accessible, and understood by all market participants. Today’s cattle producers throughout Canada can […] Read more


A plunging futures market in mid-May caused hedged cattle feeders to sell cattle early at lower prices for three weeks in a row.

Kay: Cattle futures crush the present

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Futures markets perform an important role in agricultural markets by allowing producers of key commodities to construct risk management strategies to help them make money. The futures are also anticipatory markets, and these two roles sometimes make for strange bedfellows. Right now in the U.S., the futures market for feeder and live cattle are crushing […] Read more

A variety of factors produced record profits for all processors of fed cattle last year.

Beef packers enjoy purple profit patch

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

North American beef processors are enjoying an extended period of profits that is unprecedented in the industry’s history. Packers on both sides of the border are seeing margins that would have been unthinkable five years ago. U.S. packers racked up record profits in 2017, surpassed them in 2018 and are on track for more records […] Read more


Marfrig increased its presence in the United States by acquiring a majority stake in Iowa Premium Beef last March.

Brazilians increase U.S. beef industry presence

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Brazilian beef behemoth JBS SA sent shockwaves through the U.S. beef industry nearly 12 years ago when it announced it was acquiring Swift and Company, the third-largest beef processor in the U.S. and the largest in Australia, for US$1.4 billion. Little did the industry know that Brazil’s second-largest beef company would eventually buy into the […] Read more

The quality seen in the North American beef supply continues to improve.

North American beef quality sets industries apart

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The Canadian and U.S. beef industries have made great strides over the past 20 years in improving the quality of the beef they produce. That is paying excellent dividends in both their domestic and export markets. While Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter, beef from North America is sought after globally and attracts a […] Read more


Consumer demand and tariffs will be key issues for the U.S. beef industry in 2019.

U.S. cattle prices expected to fall slightly

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Forecasting live cattle prices is always tricky but most analysts were close to the mark at the start of last year. U.S. prices were better than expected in the first quarter but mostly followed forecasts the rest of the year. Prices this year will likely be slightly lower than the average price in 2018 of […] Read more

Beef production is expected to rise in 2019 to 27.810 billion pounds, up 3.3 per cent from 2018.

Record protein supplies again

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Americans will enjoy ample supplies of red meat and poultry this year. Total 2019 production is expected to reach a record 105.570 billion pounds, up 3.0 per cent on 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS). This would exceed the expected 2.4 per cent increase in 2018 from 2017. ERS […] Read more


Undeterred by tariffs, U.S. beef exports were up nine per cent from a year ago seen January through August.

Tariffs remain irritant

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

One word — relief — summed up the completion of a new trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Agricultural leaders in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico all breathed deep sighs of relief after the three countries signed the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. That’s because the new pact leaves intact all the elements […] Read more

Retailers featured ground beef around the Labour Day weekend, this year but they also sold more steaks due to American consumer demand.

Labouring after the holiday

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

Labour Day and the week preceding it have the third-largest beef sales for the year in the U.S. Sales this year were stronger than normal and different from prior years. Retailers normally feature mostly ground beef and hot dogs ahead of the holiday. But this year they heavily featured bone-in rib steaks, T-bone steaks and […] Read more