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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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Beef production for 2019 is projected to expand to 27.7 billion pounds, 1.8 percent above 2018. Cattle placements during second-half 2018 and early 2019 are anticipated to be marginally higher, and these cattle will be slaughtered during 2019.

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Worldwide, beef trade this year has been impressive. For April, the U.S. and Australia led the way regarding gains in tonnage of beef sold compared to a year ago. In terms of value, the U.S. remained the top exporter of beef and variety meats, and posted a 20 percent dollar-value increase compared to a year earlier. Foreign markets for beef industry products continue to grow, especially in Asia.

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Commercial beef production for 2018 is forecast at 27.6 billion pounds, revised downward by 50 million pounds from the previous month. This change largely reflects a combination of both slower-than-expected pace of fed cattle slaughter and lighter cattle weights in first-half 2018.

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Strong March results capped an excellent first quarter for U.S. red meat exports, according to data released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), as beef exports set a new monthly value record in March and pork export value reached the second-highest level on record. The U.S. is exporting a strong share of its beef and pork production at higher prices – a clear sign of solid international demand.

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This month, beef production for 2018 was revised downward by 40 million pounds to 27.69 billion pounds. In part, this change reflects a combination of slower-than-expected slaughter and lighter cattle weights in the first quarter.

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The April 1 inventory of feedlots with over 1,000-head capacity was 11.729 million head, up 7.4 percent from last year. This report was very close to pre-report estimates and contained no surprises. Feedlot marketings in March were 96.1 percent of last year, just about even with last year considering that there was one less March business day in 2018 compared to one year ago. March placements were 90.7 percent of last year. While close to expectations, this placement number is significant because it breaks a string of 12 consecutive months of year-over-year placement increases.

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