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Large Backlog Of Cattle Remain

Progress appears slow in erasing the backlog of cattle in feedyards. Based on USDA data, Len Steiner, Steiner Consulting Group, projects the number of cattle on feed 150-days or more on July 1 will be about 950,000 head. If accurate, that means the industry has only reduced the 150-day cattle by 30,000 head from June 1. “Limited slaughter capacity in April and May created a significant backlog of market ready cattle and it looks like... Read More

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Surging Ground Beef Prices, As Wholesale Tops $6

Sticker shock is greeting shoppers at grocery stores across the country. From ground beef at $7.99 per pound in Eureka, Kan. To $11.88 per pound in Lawrence, grocers are grappling with a changing market. “In this past five to seven days, the market has just gone crazy,” says Mark Thomas, one of the owners of C&R Supermarkets , with 11 locations in rural Missouri. “Most suppliers have put grocery stores on allocations to the point... Read More

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COVID-19: A Complete Imbalance In Livestock And Meat Supply

The following commentary is from Dale R. Woerner, Ph.D., associate professor, and the Cargill Endowed Professor in Sustainable Meat Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University. The impact of COVID-19 on the livestock and meat industry is peaking, leaving livestock producers and processors on the edge of economic sustainability and the market in a complete imbalance. Perhaps the greatest impact to this point has been on livestock producers,... Read More

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Meat Production Threatened With Disruption

The U.S. meat industry faces unprecedented threats as COVID-19 sweeps through labor forces at meat processing facilities nationwide. Production of beef, pork and poultry are simultaneously threatened as COVID-19 infections affect labor availability and processing capacity in multiple facilities across all meat industries. Reduced processing capacity could cause backups in live animal supplies if animals cannot be processed in a timely fashion. The severity of impacts will depend on specific situations and locations but could... Read More

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Possible Beef Price Fixing

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley is among some farm-state senators who are calling for investigations of beef packing companies following the surge in wholesale beef prices that led to extreme processing profit margins. Texas Congressman Mike Conaway told AgriTalk Tuesday he thinks a probe into packer profits is likely. Cattlemen have complained that surging meat prices due to the COVID-19 crisis hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. During the crisis, CME futures prices plunged... Read More

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Demand Surge Drives Cash, Boxes Higher

Demand for U.S. meat will likely exceed supplies for at least another week as coronavirus restrictions spurred consumers to stock up on meat and other household essentials. That lit a fire under the beef market this week and shot packer profit margins nearly $400 higher, though the meager increase in cash cattle means producers only saw $40 to $50 of the week's $350 - $450 gains in beef prices. Efforts to restock meatcases and the... Read More

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Retail produce sales rising amid coronavirus concerns

Stock-up grocery trips prompted by coronavirus concerns have included fresh produce along with frozen and canned, according to IRI and 210 Analytics. Total-store sales, including perimeter, jumped 10.6% for the week ending March 8. Sales for the four-week period ending March 8 were up 4.5%, compared to 2.0% growth year-to-date, per IRI. “Meat and deli meat sales are big drivers behind the perimeter growth, but produce sales too are accelerating fast — vegetables in particular,”... Read More

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Another Black Swan Hits Cattle Markets

Fears over the coronavirus wiped out more than $3 trillion in the equities markets this week. Livestock and grain markets were hammered, too. The coronavirus meltdown is the second black swan event for cattlemen in six months, but many fear this is worse than the Tyson packing plant fire. Worse because of the uncertainty. With the Tyson fire, the industry knew the extent of the damage and had realistic ideas of how long the event... Read More

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