State of the Cattle Cycle

One of the most interesting questions that I always enjoying discussing is the state of the cattle cycle. The cattle cycle is the path of cattle inventory from low to peak and back to the low point again. Our current cattle cycle began during the 2014 low-point in cattle inventory that spurred record prices. This began the eighth cattle cycle since 1938 with each ranging from 9 to 14 years. … Continue reading

Lower Feeder Cattle Price Volatility

The following article is from the Livestock Marketing Information Center. It discusses an interesting topic about which I have spoken with many of you at various meetings. After years of dramatic price swings (high volatility), markets have settled significantly to lower levels of variability. While the article uses Oklahoma City as an example, the story is true for markets across the Southeast. Continue reading

Income and Meat Demand


The figure above comes from an interesting new article published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. The authors use consumption data for seven food categories in more than 100 countries (including the U.S.) to see how food demand changes with income and population. In particular, let’s look at the area shaded red in the figure which refers to meat and seafood. … Continue reading

Abundance Feedstuffs Lend Strength to Calf Prices

This week’s article comes from Dr. Stephen Koontz at Colorado State University. I found it relevant – especially since we discussed the relationship between corn and feeder cattle prices in this newsletter a few weeks back feedstuffs (Available Here). 
Friday’s USDA NASS Acreage report showed 89.1 million acres of corn planted and 89.6 million acres of soybeans. … Continue reading

Hay Acreage in the Southeast

 
The USDA Acreage report was released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service this past Friday. This once a year report usually grabs headlines due to its estimates of acreage of crops such as corn, wheat, cotton, and soybeans. It is often one of the most volatile trading days for those commodities as markets absorb the newest information and traders adjust their forecasts for future production. … Continue reading

Largest June Cattle on Feed Total on Record

The latest cattle on feed report was released on Friday and it showed another year-over-year increase in the total number of cattle on feed. The reported estimated 11.6 million head of cattle on feed on June 1st. This was the 18th consecutive month that we’ve seen a cattle on feed number larger than the same month of the previous year. … Continue reading

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