CattleFax CEO Randy Blach Says 2017's Robust Export Market the Industry's Biggest Bright SpotMon, 06 Nov 2017 12:08:53 CST
CattleFax CEO Randy Blach appeared at the 2017 American Angus Convention this past weekend in Fort Worth, Texas where he spoke briefly with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about the state of the cattle industry over the past year and more specifically about the surprisingly robust export market and how it relates to the nation’s cattle herd that continues to expand.
“I think the best part about 2017 is that all segments of the industry have been profitable,” Blach said. “We don’t see that very often. When you look at it - the supply side has not been a surprise to us. We’ve had as much supply as we anticipated. I would say the biggest surprise, year to date, is how good exports have been.”
While exports have been a bright spot this year, there is still worries that the good times may come to an end if President Trump and his administration aren’t careful with how they handle ongoing NAFTA negotiations and trade talks with Japan. Blach says access to these markets and others are critical to the success of the beef industry, since it would be incredibly challenging to ratchet up domestic consumption of beef by the necessary 40 lbs. per person to absorb the extra 15 billion lbs. of protein that will be exported by the US this year. He agrees that staying competitive in the market should be a priority. The other part of the equation though, in order to sustain industry-wide profitability, is to keep the US cow herd size within reason.
“It’s still growing but the rate of expansion is slowing as prices work a little bit lower - and that’s just exactly what you’d expect to see happen,” he said, and estimated that taking into account the current demand situation the industry probably requires about 32 to 33.5 million head to keep the industry profitable. “It Doesn’t do much good to go much bigger than that if we can’t keep the cow/calf producers profitable.”
Listen to Blach offer his complete perspective on the state of cattle industry this year to Ron Hays, 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.
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