Although Less Aggressive Compared to Last, 2018 Shaping Up Another Impressive Marketing YearMon, 18 Jun 2018 10:30:12 CDT
As we approach the halfway point of 2018, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays reached out to Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center to get his take on how this year has progressed so far in the beef markets compared to last year. According to Robb, things have actually turned out to be a little better than most might have anticipated going into the start of this year.
“2018 so far has been a little better than anticipated in terms of cattle prices - a little bit better probably than anticipated in the wholesale meat markets supported as it was last year by really good demand,” Robb said. “That demand side has really helped us absorb rather large beef production. So, it’s turned out really pretty well and probably we put it in the category of better than anticipated.”
One unique aspect about the beef markets in 2017, says Robb, was just how aggressively cattle were pulled through the pipeline. While that continues to happen some here in 2018, he relents that it just isn’t happening quite as much. However, he points out that markets were really quite aggressive during the second half of this past May which set things up nicely going into the last USDA Cattle on Feed Report. Nonetheless, seasonal lows are still in the forecast for this year for fed cattle coming up and calves later this fall. On the whole though, Robb states that the “whole boat has been floated a little higher,” injecting some optimism into the current marketplace. What is also interesting is that for the second year in a row, carcass weights have not been increased. That, plus an impressively strong demand profile both domestically and internationally, Robb says things have come together nicely for the American beef industry.
“Look back over the last 20 years or so, we’ve added five to six pounds on a dressed weight basis every year to steer carcass weights. Now, much of that is this very aggressive marketings,” he said, explaining also how this has positively impacted packers. “2018 is going to turn out to be our best year ever in packer returns and that’s kept them wanting to buy cows.”
Listen to Jim Robb and Ron Hays discuss the current state of the beef industry, 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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