Current Cattle Market Headlines: Wednesday, June 24, 2020

by | Jun 24, 2020 | 0 comments

OCM calls for a moratorium on beef imports

  • The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, asking him to follow through with President Trump’s suggestion to terminate importation of cattle into the U.S.
  • Ben Gotschall, OCM Interim Executive Director, stated that beef imports must also be banned, especially from Brazil.
  • In 2017, JBS was caught bribing meat inspectors and exporting adulterated rotten meat worldwide. The U.S. then halted Brazilian beef imports the following two years, before reopening our borders to their beef products in February of 2020.
  • With the U.S. no longer requiring MCOOL on beef, and the USDA allowing imported meat to be falsely labeled “Product of U.S.A.,” consumers are not able to distinguish between U.S. beef and foreign beef.
  • OCM’s letter also stated that the group is working proactively with its members and stakeholders to develop policy recommendations for a transition to a more decentralized food system and expressed the need to breakup the “Big Four” meatpacking companies.


Lower beef prices at the grocery stores ahead

  • Wholesale beef prices are edging closer to last year’s lows, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension economist David Anderson.
  • Last week, choice boxed beef settled at $2.41/lb., which is relatively close to June 2019, when it was at $2.22/lb.
  • Anderson added that day-to-day beef production has surpassed 2019 numbers, however, processing capacity remains below 100%.
    • Beef production is larger than year-ago levels because feeder cattle weights are up.
  • Retail prices should start to reflect the drop in wholesale prices as we move into July. “It will be interesting to see where wholesale prices end up and whether the prices at grocers will be as dramatic as what we’ve seen with wholesale,” said Anderson.
  • The U.S. economy will play a large role in beef prices as America is experiencing a recession, 40 million people are unemployed, incomes are falling, and restaurants are at partial capacity.


Grassley calls for hearing on cattle pricing issues

  • Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is asking the Senate Agriculture committee to hold a hearing on concerns about beef packers and cattle pricing.
  • Senator Grassley understands the hardships that farmers and ranchers are currently experiencing, and realizes the marketplace is not working like it should.
  • Grassley is also trying to gather support for his 50/14 bill that would mandate 50% of fed cattle purchases be done through negotiated cash trade.
    • One key member of the committee is in opposition of the bill, Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas.
    • “And I don’t understand—they’ve got to have a big cattle operation in Kansas—I don’t know why he would be against 50% of a daily kill to be negotiated as opposed to about 20%.


Boxed beef prices increase marginally

  • Choice boxed beef: $211.81 (-2.25)
  • Select boxed beef: $203.57 (-0.73)


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From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
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