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Strong Demand Still Driving US Beef Market, Though Mexico's Tariff Retaliations Could Put a Pin in It

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 12:03:41 CDT

Strong Demand Still Driving US Beef Market, Though Mexico's Tariff Retaliations Could Put a Pin in It


Next week, Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center will speak to beef producers at the Texoma Cattlemen’s Conference in Ardmore, Okla. where Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays will be moderating discussions that take place during this educational event. Prior to that, Hays reached out to Robb for a preliminary outlook on the current beef market. Taking into consideration the last few days of May and into early June, Robb says demand continues to look pretty good.


“The drivers in the market are clearly the robust demand. We had the boxed beef cut-outs slightly weak last week,” he said. “But, for the holiday shortened week, we had very good movement during the week. So, in other words, we had almost five or six days worth of movement in the holiday shortened week.”


Which, Robb says, is good news. And even though wholesale markets were slightly softer in recent days past, he reports that prices are still higher than they were during the first week of May. A sign of “pretty good” strength in the marketplace. With that being the case, Robb says packer margins continue to be very strong which in effect continues to pull cattle through the marketing chain at a very aggressive pace. The one wild card that could throw a wrench in the works now it seems, is the uncertainty of trade access being heavily influenced currently by political rhetoric. Our NAFTA partners have each responded with threats of retaliation to President Trump’s decision to move forward on the implementation of steel and aluminum imports. Robb says that while Canada’s actions so far have no real impact on beef markets, Mexico’s does. As the largest customer of US pork products, which is where Mexico has focused its retaliatory attack, any harm done to the beef industry will most likely be indirect.


“The bigger story has been in the short-term with respect to Mexico. Mexico is placing very large tariffs on US pork products. So, the beef impacts will be mostly indirect,” Robb said. “What’s not sold to Mexico, we have to consume here in the United States.”


Listen to Robb and Hays discuss the current strength of the US beef markets and what threats might hinder its continued success, on today’s Beef Buzz.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



   




   

Listen to Robb and Hays discuss the current strength of the US beef markets and what threats exist
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