USA: Cattle and beef marketing indicators all green

Updated Mar 7, 2023
Steer prices are rising. Some as high as 2015.
For the first time in several years it appears that all segments of cattle and beef markets are on the same page and responding to tightening supply fundamentals. The complex linkages across cattle and beef markets mean that the dynamics of market adjustments are relatively slow under the best of circumstances. Delays due to the pandemic in 2020 stretched into 2021 and drought impacts since late 2020 contributed to a delayed transition of fundamentals from feeder cattle markets, through fed cattle markets into beef markets. Cattle numbers have declined for several years since the peak beef cow herd in 2019. Declining calf crop numbers (from the 2018 peak) should have led to peak cyclical beef production by 2020. Pandemic delays pushed beef production from 2020 into 2021. Related: Cattle industry honors environmental stewards Drought liquidation in 2021 and 2022 led to further short-term increases in beef production. Record beef production in 2022 occurred four years after the ...
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