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Agricultural News

Dr. Glynn Tonsor Not Expecting any Surprises with Friday's Cattle Inventory Report

Wed, 29 Jan 2020 10:15:55 CST

Dr. Glynn Tonsor Not Expecting any Surprises with Friday's Cattle Inventory Report

This coming Friday, USDA releases their bi-annual cattle inventory report. The January report is essential in that it gives us some key numbers, regarding our beef cow population, heifers for replacement, and more.

Dr. Glynn Tonsor, Extension livestock market economist, says that the livestock market information center up in Denver has their estimates for this Friday's report out, and he says he believes they're pretty well in line. "In the beef cow number, they put at a drop, .8%, so a little bit less than 1% pullback. Heifers held back for replacement, their estimate about 3.5% lower than the year before, and then the calf crop being about half a percent lower. I don't have any real reason to argue with any of those. I do know several analysts think the beef-cow number might pull back more than that; you know some are calling for 1.2--1.3% declines. Those might sound like small differences, but for as big as our herd is, there is an important difference, on whether this becomes a -.8. or-1.2. Regardless I anticipate, much like LMIC, that all three of those numbers will be a negative share there, and that will confirm that we are now done expanding and will continue shrinking the herd."

As for beef demand domestically, Dr. Tonsor says beef demand continues to look pretty good. "The good news for beef continues, so November values were up 3% compared to November of 2018. That makes 8 out of 11 months in 2019 were positive for domestic beef demand. That is very good, and we all need to appreciate where that is coming from. Pork was down 2% in November, and chicken was down 1/2 a percent in November. Flip it over to the export side, beef continues its challenge, as it relates to export demand, was down 10% in November, that basically means we have a mixed bag, so 5 of the 11 months of 2019 were positive. For a quick pause here, 2018 was a really good year for beef export demand. So part of the reason these numbers for been down year over year is they were being compared to high-value in 2018. November of 19, the pork export demand index was up 35%. Yes, that is not a typo. I redid the numbers four times, that is a very large number. It's actually the sixth month in a row in 2019, so through November, that we had over until a 10% gain year over year in pork export demand. That, in many ways, is your China ASF, Southeast Asia more generally ASF development that continues to go on. The Broiler export demand index was up 5% in November. That makes 4 out of 11.

So to put a bow on all that year over year gains are stronger domestically than abroad when it comes to US Beef and sort of the opposite is true for pork. And I hope those export demand values continue to grow for pork because that will help us find a home for lots of those pounds. For our cattle listeners, if they don't, that will become bearish because more of those pork pounds have to stay here, domestically, and that will put some cross-price pressure on the beef."

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Glynn Tonsor as he talks With Ron Hays.


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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