It's a busy time of the year for cattlemen, with calving operations underway on some farms and ranches. 

Normally, producers would have gathered in Saskatoon for the Annual  Beef Industry Conference, but once again it was held virtually.

The group heard some key presentations, including a market update from Brian Perillat with Canfax.

He talked about how despite restaurants being closed or having limited capacity, we've seen some strong demand for beef through COVID, especially last year.

"We've seen huge demand. 2015/2014, Previously, that's when we had some of the highest cutout prices. We've just destroyed those kind of price levels. We've moved into much higher prices, and we did this in the fact that North America had record beef production. We had extremely strong cutout wholesale prices, we've had record high retail prices, and we've had record high throughput."

Perillat also commented on international demand with exports.

"Globally, international meat demand has been incredibly strong. Part of that's related. We've seen a flattening or almost a shrinking in global meat supplies. African swine fever decimated the Chinese hog herd. China has almost half the hogs in the world. That rippled through global meat markets, not just pork markets. We've seen incredible demand from China from beef. They've become the world's biggest beef importer, and that supported overall global prices."

Perillat gave the market update for the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference and Manitoba Agriculture's Beef and Forage Days.

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