Beef Buzz News
Uncertainty Is How KSU Extension Livestock Economist Dr. Glynn Tonsor Describes Current Cattle MarketFri, 11 Sep 2020 08:44:37 CDT
Dr. Glynn Tonsor, K-State livestock market economist, uses the word “uncertainty” to describe the current cattle market.
We continue to have lots of uncertainty, Tonsor said, as that is the word I have used the most since March.
That word covers a lot of ground as Tonsor says there is a ton of question marks circulating around the market.
The uncertainty on beef demand is front and center on everybody’s mind, he said, as we look at reopening and closing schools and retail shops because of the pandemic.
Other uncertain factors include feed prices and supplies.
The corn rally is not supportive of feeder cattle prices, Tonsor said.
Wildfires and drought have consumed pasture and range acres and could push more cattle into feedlots.
Uncertainty is the buzzword, emphasized Tonsor.
Macroeconomic beef demand and Mother Nature driven pressures, Tonsor said.
On the positive side, uncertainty about the backlog of cattle caused by the pandemic is going down.
I frankly think the packing and processing sector deserves a lot of credit for the speed of bouncing back, Tonsor said.
The initial processing estimate from this past week was 633,000 head, up notably from 571,000 head from this time a year ago.
I think we will continue to make a lot of headway but there is talk of slowing down to give labor a break, Tonsor said.
It’s a labor- and capital-intensive exercise and there is discussion to give labor a break on working Saturdays, Tonsor said.
The K-State economist added the latest USDA domestic beef demand figures through June were up 34 percent from the prior year.
Pork and poultry demand were also up 10 percent.
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