Livestock Economist Steve Meyer Says Cattlemen Need to Adjust to Changing Times for Cattle PricesTue, 12 Jan 2016 15:06:31 CST
The latest U.S. beef and pork exports as of November 2015 showed demand momentum. Pork exports were picking up the pace and beef exports also showed some signs of life. November exports of U.S. pork were up eight percent from a year ago. That was the largest volume since May. The export value was still down 13 percent from a year, but up slightly from October. November beef exports were down one percent from a year ago on volume, but’s that was the largest volume since June. Beef export value did drop 17 percent compared to one year ago. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Steve Meyer of EMI Analytics at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in Orlando, Florida to talk about the livestock market outlook for 2016. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below for the full interview.
Meyer is optimistic for 2016, as he thinks beef and pork exports will regain momentum. U.S. pork exports will finish the year positive on volume. U.S. pork and beef exports in 2015 will be down in terms of value because prices are significantly lower than they were a year ago. He said pork will be up about four percent on volume and the U.S. could make similar gains in 2016. On the beef side, the U.S. had lower exports of beef this year, along with continued strong imports of beef, due to the smaller U.S. cow herd and beef supply. Meyer said most beef imports have come from Australia, but their herd numbers have been reduced enough that those levels are not sustainable. He looks a reduction of beef imports in 2016, which will help the trade balance.
In looking at the current situation, Meyer said cattle producers need to come to the reality that 2014 cattle prices are not coming back. With better grass conditions, the nation’s cow herd has been allowed to grow. That has been shown through reduced cow slaughter and heifer slaughter in the past year and a half. That’s part of the reason cattle prices reached record levels, but Meyer said times have changed.
“We’re on the backside of that now, so those times are gone,” Meyer said. “So you need to reset your frame of reference from $1.50 or $1.60 fat cattle and $1.70 and $1.90 feeder cattle, back down to something more responsible. We think we’re going to see a lot of fat cattle in the $130’s, a lot of feeder cattle in the $155 - $160. We think calves are still going to push $2."
Meyer said cattlemen will receive good prices in 2016, they just won't be the record levels seen in recent years.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Meyer on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
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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