Beef Demand Continues Positive Trajectory for 2014, According to Glynn TonsorThu, 13 Feb 2014 12:40:22 CST
It remains a remarkable story: the staying power of retail beef demand in the U.S., despite record-high retail prices. And it’s depicted in the latest beef demand index calculations from a K-State livestock economist. Dr. Glynn Tonsor regularly tracks a series of indicators that factor into his beef demand index. He just finished his analysis of demand for the fourth quarter of 2013…and it bodes well for beef cattle producers.
“The specific numbers for the fourth quarter would be the choice-demand index I maintain which was up 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Likewise, the all-fresh beef demand index which is more encompassing, it’s not just choice, select and others in there, was up 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter. That index, the all-fresh one, has been up for the last 14 quarters. So, consecutively, we’ve had year-over-year improvement. That’s a very positive story.”
These fourth-quarter numbers simply echo the trend for the entire 2013 calendar year, which Tonsor has also summarized.
“When you look at the whole year of 2013, the choice demand index was up 2.6 percent which may not sound like a lot, but, when you have an industry the size of the beef industry, that’s a big increase. And, it’s the best year since 2004. That’s a very positive story.”
Tonsor said the all-fresh demand was up 1.8 percent year-over-year and that signals that part of the pull on demand is the consumer’s desire for higher quality. He said that the industry as a whole has been able to push smaller supplies of beef at higher prices which is a very positive signal for more fed cattle.
And though he won’t be formally putting together his demand index for the first quarter of 2014 until April, Tonsor says the early indications remain positive for on-the-hoof cattle prices.
“We’re offering fewer pounds, so not everybody is still a consumer. That’s part of what’s going on here. There are some being priced out, I’m not trying to hide that out, but those that remain interested and able are willing to pay these historically-high prices. And the industry is going to have to keep asking and succeeding doing that throughout 2014, but I don’t want us to lose sight of the fact that 2014 has started very positively in that story.”
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also 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.
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