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Market Reports

Read new forecasts and indicators involving beef cattle and feed markets. Find out what factors are affecting prices.

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Total cattle imports in July were down 4.1%, with year-to-date total cattle imports up 14.7% year over year for the January through July period. Cattle imports in 2018 totaled 1.9 million head, including 66.8% Mexican cattle and 33.2% from Canada.

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The lingering effects of inclement weather conditions earlier in the year and a greater proportion of heifers and cows in the slaughter mix have largely kept cattle weights below expectations from the previous month. Average cattle carcass weights appear to have bottomed in the week ending June 1, 2019, at 790 pounds.

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May exports of U.S. pork and beef were steady with last year’s strong volumes and increased year-over-year in value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

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The initial forecast for 2020 commercial beef production is expected to set a record of 27.5 billion pounds, surpassing by almost 1% what is expected to be a record level in 2019. Total cattle slaughter is expected to be lower than 2019, as lower cow slaughter more than offsets higher fed cattle slaughter.

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The beef production forecast for 2019 was lowered slightly by 20 million pounds from the previous month’s forecast to 27.3 billion pounds. This adjustment is based on lower expected carcass weights partly offset by a greater anticipated number of cows to be slaughtered this year.

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The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its semiannual Cattle report on Feb. 28, which provided a snapshot of the U.S. cattle inventory on Jan. 1, 2019. The number of cattle and calves was estimated at 94.8 million head, about 0.5 percent above a year ago.

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