Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for Wednesday, October 7, 2020

by | Oct 7, 2020 | 0 comments

USDA chief blurs public duties and politics

  • Lawmakers and ethnic watchdogs are accusing USDA’s Secretary Sonny Perdue of blurring public duties and politics.
  • At a USDA event with North Carolina food producers in August, Perdue supposedly held a pep rally for his boss, President Trump. His comments during this event led to chants of, “four more year, for more years.”
    • After the event, 49 democrats wrote a letter to the Agriculture Department’s ethics office stating that Perdue’s remarks were a “blatant violation of federal law.”
  • More fuel was added to the fire when the USDA recently required that federal contractors include letters signed by President Trump in food boxes for needy families.
  • Just last week, democrats were again angry over Perdue advocating for Trump while touring a dairy farm in Wisconsin. During the tour Perdue made the statement that the president is the common denominator between Washington and rural America.


USCA comments on transition to RFID tags

  • On Monday, USCA submitted comments regarding the USDA’s push to transition to RFID tags as the official eartag for use in interstate movement of cattle that are required to be identified by traceability regulations.
  • In the submitted comments, USCA President Dr. Brooke Miller said that he and his organization believe the USDA can work with the cattle industry to establish an animal identification system that works for all producers.
    • He also stated that RFID tags are needed with the growing global marketplace and our trading partners wanting a more comprehensive and transparent national animal id system.


China’s import and export markets

  • The USDA recently released a Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) International Agricultural Trade Report that details China as the world’s largest agricultural import market and their increasing demand.
  • The report states that Chinese beef and beef product imports have grown exponentially since 2012, with an annual upward trend of 48 percent. In 2019, this trend propelled China to surpass the U.S. to become the largest beef market with imports at $8.4 billion.
    • The three main beef suppliers to China are Brazil, Australia and Argentina, accounting for a combined 67 percent of the market share.
    • The report noted that Brazil has been shipping record value of beef to China.
  • China opened its borders to U.S. beef imports in 2017 after they had been closed due to BSE. Since then, U.S. beef exports have grown, but still remain marginal in the big picture.
  • Just this year, China’s pork imports have tripled, mainly due to ASF decimating their pork industry.
  • In 2019, China was noted as the world’s largest pork market with imports of $6.4 billion.
  • In closing, the report stated that China expects to add 189 million middle-class households in the coming decade, which will mean increased demand for meat, dairy, and other food products.
    • As positive as this sounds for U.S. agriculture producers, our trade has been and will most likely continue to be challenged by our strongest competitor, Brazil.
      • Brazil has a more favorable exchange rate that helps make their products more competitive in the Chinese market.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $216.24 (-0.74)
  • Select boxed beef: 206.84 (-1.17)


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