Beef Exports Strong … Again


Recent trade data released by USDA-ERS shows that U.S. beef exports have continued their record pace through the month of August. August exports were up 9% over August 2017 and the January-August total is 14.17% above the same period of 2018.  According to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), … Continue reading

Winter Grazing Prospects

The condition of winter grazing pasture in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and surrounding areas has a significant impact on market prices in the Southeast. It is directly tied to demand for calves because good pasture can support more calves while poor pasture conditions lead to fewer calves needed and lower demand. Below is analysis and commentary from Dr.Continue reading

Larger, Lighter Placements

The latest Cattle on Feed Report was released on Friday, September 21 after the markets closed. The Monday reaction today was lower live cattle and feeder cattle futures contract prices. Large supplies continue to be the trend as we saw (yet another) largest-on-record total feedlot inventory. Inventory on September 1st was estimated at 11.125 million head which is the largest for any September 1st since at least 1996 when the data collection began. … Continue reading

Learn Economics. Work for Amazon, eBay, [insert tech company name here]…

This working paper from the Harvard Business School by Susan Athey and Michael Luca was recently brought to my attention by Dr. Alba Collart. The authors discuss the increasing role of economists working for tech companies like Amazon, eBay, Google, Airbnb, etc. Fascinating stuff!
I’ll list what I thought were some of the highlights:

Not only is the number of economists employed in this sector growing rapidly, … Continue reading

Sell the Rally?


Feeder Cattle futures contracts rallied last week as shown in the figure above. Prices for the October Feeder Cattle contract rose approximately $5 between the Tuesday close and the Friday close. The story was similar for other contract months, too, including the March contract.
The rally can be attributed to “good news” from multiple sources. … Continue reading

Beef Exports Surge Continues


USDA’s Economic Research Service and Foreign Agricultural Service released the most recent monthly trade data last week. The big story is continued large beef exports. For the month of July, exports were up 16.8 percent over July 2017. For January-July, beef exports were 15 percent higher than the same period a year ago.
U.S. … Continue reading

August 2018 Cattle on Feed Report

The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report was released this past Friday. This report included estimates for the number of cattle placed into feedlots, marketed out of feedlots, and the total number of cattle on feed for the month of July ending on August 1, 2018.

The report showed a 7.9 percent increase in cattle placed during July 2018 as compared to 2018. … Continue reading

Strong Domestic Demand for Beef


Domestic consumer demand for beef was very good in the first quarter of 2018 and also for the second quarter of 2018. The beef demand index chart above shows an index increase of about a half percent (2017 was 85.8 and 2018 was 86.2). We use index values because beef demand is difficult to measure and understand. … Continue reading

Cattle Market Update

2018 has been both an interesting and somewhat steady year for the cattle market. Large supplies, record exports, and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that have dominated the headlines. We are now fully transitioning into the primary calf selling (and buying) time of the year for most producers in the southeast. I’m going to try to sum up a few of the more prominent factors and discuss how they could impact cattle prices this fall. … Continue reading

Observations from Other Economists

This week’s article is a little different from usual, but hopefully one that you’ll enjoy. I was in Washington D.C. over the weekend at the Agricultural and Applied Economics annual meeting. This is our national association and it brings together applied economists from around the world studying nearly every topic you can imagine.Continue reading