Corn and Feeder Cattle Prices

Corn prices have been on a sharp downtrend since late May due primarily to a combination of trade uncertainty and a strong start to the growing season. Both nearby and new crop corn futures prices have tumbled by over 40 cents or approximately ten percent. The December 2018 corn futures contract price hit $4.26 on May 23rd – its highest level since July 2017. … Continue reading

U.S. Beef Exports Exceed Expectations Again

As a follow up on the international trade discussion last week, this week let’s discuss the most recent export data that was released on June 7th. Most of the analysis and comments below come from Jim Robb at the Livestock Marketing Information Center mixed with a few of my comments. Overall, beef trade around the world this year has been impressive.  … Continue reading

Trading with Neighbors

Compared to the amount of attention paid by the national media, I really haven’t devoted much time in this newsletter to talking about all of the various trade talks going on. We talked about the steel and aluminum tariffs (Available HERE) and then we talked about why China’s proposed retaliation tariffs were not the primary reason for lower cattle prices in 2018 (Available HERE). … Continue reading

Heifers and Beef Production

To follow up on last week’s article (available HERE), this week we’ll dig a little deeper into the beef production picture.  This week’s article comes from Dr. Derrell Peel at Oklahoma State University. It sheds some light on the increased role of heifers in the total beef production system. Total cattle slaughter has outpaced year-ago levels for most of 2018.Continue reading

2018 – 2019 Beef Production Forecasts

2018 U.S. commercial beef production is forecasted to total 27.43 billion pounds according to the most recent USDA estimates (full USDA report available HERE). This would be the largest annual total on record as it would beat the current record-holding year 2002 by about 350 million pounds. This would be a 4.8 percent increase over the 2017 total and a 15.8 percent increase over the 20-year low point observed during 2015. … Continue reading

Strong 2018 Beef Exports Continue


At the start of this year, we discussed beef exports as a key question and component to how markets will behave in 2018 (see HERE). With the release of the March export data, we now have the first quarter of that question and the results are encouraging. Beef and veal exports during the month of March totaled approximately 260 million pounds. … Continue reading

Calf Price Seasonality and Fall Marketing

This week’s analysis comes from the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). LMIC is comprised of member Land Grant Universities and agencies across the U.S., including me as the representative from MSU. We have discussed Mississippi price seasonality before (see HERE and HERE). The information below is pulled from a much longer price series in Western Kansas than is available in Mississippi.Continue reading

Placements Lower than Year-Ago, But Number of Cattle on Feed Still Historically Large

Placements into feedlots during March were lower than they were during March of 2017. While this was anticipated, it breaks a run of 12 consecutive months of placement increases. Placements were 9.3 percent lower than during March 2017. This is not an indication of fewer total cattle supplies, but rather are a confirmation of the change in feedlot timing in recent months.  … Continue reading

U.S. Beef on China’s List of Proposed Tariff Responses

China announced last week that U.S. beef is one of the many products on which they will increase tariffs by 25 percentage points.  The tariffs would raise the current tariff on U.S. beef products from 12 percent to 37 percent (see more details here). This is all part of the ongoing trade tit-for-tat in which the U.S. … Continue reading

Livestock Marketing Risk Management Workshop

Mississippi Farm Bureau and Mississippi State Extension Service are teaming up to host a Livestock Marketing Risk Management workshop on April 24, 2018. This workshop is designed to provide ranchers, livestock producers and others engaged in the livestock sector with an introduction to tools for managing marketing risks.  This workshop will focus on budgeting and break-even analysis, … Continue reading