by Ken Root
The price of beef has been falling sharply at the farm gate and gradually at the supermarket. Cattle producers are suffering either a loss of real money, or the perceived profiteering of the processing sector.
A livestock Economist says we are finally catching up with the downtrend. There is underlying strength that should stop the drop and elevate the market in months ahead.
It has been a tough fall for the cattle market, regardless of which segment you look at, according to Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock market economist, but he says he is finally beginning to see some stability in the markets.
“Finally, we’ve seen some support in cattle markets pretty much across the board,” Peel said. “We’ve seen feeder cattle prices tick up; fed cattle markets have recovered; boxed beef markets have recovered.”
This is good news, according to Dr. Peel, who says it has been especially odd, since fall is the time of the year the industry generally sees its largest run of calves.
“We normally look for some seasonal weakness in prices,” Peel said. “But I think this has been an unusual fall.”
Although the markets are starting from a lower point than what was expected, Dr. Peel says there is still some opportunities to be had.
“I think this market has had a very bearish psychology – a lot of fear, frankly,” Peel said. “It’s been very slow to develop and I think we’re going to see that now. So, we have a chance to see these markets maybe improve a little bit more, given what they’ve already done.”
He spoke with Farm Broadcaster, Ron Hays, from the Rural Oklahoma Network. Ron provided the audio for this report.