Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for December 1, 2020

by | Dec 1, 2020 | 0 comments

New Zealand grass-fed brand launches U.S. direct-to-consumer e-commerce website

  • New Zealand’s Silver Fern Farms has launched a direct-to-consumer e-commerce website to sell its premium grass-fed red meat products to customers across the United States.
    • All products are shipped frozen and their beef and lamb is 100 percent grass-fed and pasture-raised. It is also hormone and antibiotic free.
  • Silver Fern Farms was able to establish a retail footprint in New York City and the surrounding metro area in 2019. In 2020, the company established itself in Southern California and Midwestern states.
  • Since the pandemic has hit and much of the world has dealt with supply chain issues, Silver Fern Farms has worked to ensure constant production, which has led to increased exports to the U.S.
  • The company offers bundles and a la carte options with choices such as beef, venison and lamb.


Ag lenders don’t expect profits in 2021

  • According to the “Fall 2020 Agricultural Lender Survey” report produced jointly by the American Bankers Association and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, lenders are most concerned about their customer’s liquidity, income and leverage heading into 2021.
    • They are also worried about uncertainty regarding tariffs and trade, the weather and the impacts of Covid-19 and the economic downturn that may result.
  • The survey stated that on average, lenders reported that just under 51 percent of their agricultural borrowers were profitable in 2020, down from 57 percent in 2019.
    • When the survey was conducted, about half of the lenders did not expect profitability to improve in 2021.
  • The majority of the concerns fall on the grain, dairy and cattle sectors.
  • With the tough times pressing in on the agriculture industry, producers are looking to diversify their operations.
    • Forty-three percent of lenders reported that they had received inquiries about financing for hemp production and just over one-third of lenders are asking about financing for renewable energy projects.
  • The survey showed that 82.2 percent of lenders said that overall farm debt increased over the last year.
  • Heading into 2021, lenders expect higher agricultural loan delinquency rates for both production and agricultural real estate.
  • Despite the survey being fairly negative, lenders remain positive regarding approvals.
    • The survey reported an average agricultural loan application approval rate for new loans at 72.3 percent in the 12 months leading up to August 2020.
      • Lenders also expect the approval rate for renewal requests to be close to 90 percent in the next year.


Projections for feed prices up sharply

  • According to the USDA, forecasts for feed prices have increased dramatically.
    • The corn price estimate for 2019-2020 marketing year is $3.56/bu and the estimate for 2020-2021 is $4.00/bu., up $0.40 from last month’s forecast
    • Soybean meal price estimate for 2019-2020 is $299.50 per short ton and for 2020-2021 the estimate is $355 per short ton, up $20 from the last reported forecast.
  • Record U.S. corn exports are expected for 2020-2021 because of two major global market developments.
    • First, China has accelerated their pace of grain imports to meet higher feed demands of their increased livestock inventories and meat production.
    • Second, Ukraine’s 2020-2021 corn production has been cut significantly because of hot, dry conditions throughout parts of the country.
      • In past years, Ukraine has been the fourth largest corn exporter in the world.
    • With world supplies of corn reduced, the U.S. is expected to capture a larger percentage of global exports in 2020-2021.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $243.68 (+0.83)
  • Select boxed beef: $222.43 (+1.75)


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How did we get here?

From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
Click to see a timeline of events that have brought to light the profit and pricing disparity in cattle markets.


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