Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Market Reports

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


“It’s too soon to tell,” say various experts who have started to weigh in on the potential impact of Japan’s tragic earthquake and resulting tsunami on beef imports by the island nation.

Japan is the largest customer for U.S. beef and pork exports in terms of dollar value. Japan accounted for 30 percent of U.S. pork exports and 15 percent of U.S. beef exports last year, according to Meat Trade News Daily.

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feeders_regCattle prices have had a remarkable run to the upside, with finished steers reaching the low $120s per hundredweight in early April. Now there are signs that those lofty prices will not be maintained into the spring and summer.

It is the strength of demand that has been the driver of higher cattle prices, not supply.

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Old crop corn prices declined sharply in the first half of March as it appeared that high prices had sufficiently slowed the rate of consumption.  However, a continued high rate of ethanol production, a resurgence of export sales, and larger livestock inventories provided evidence that consumption had not slowed.

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A special report just issued by the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group indicates the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami to Japan’s agricultural and food industry could be dire. While the full impact of the earth quake and radiation are not yet understood, the report—which estimates the potential impact on six major sectors of Japan’s agricultural industry—projects that food safety concerns and supply shortage will limit exports and cause imports to rise.

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The positive trend for U.S. beef exports continued in February, with an increasingly large portion of total U.S. production going to international customers while returning more revenue to America’s red meat industry, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

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Corbitt Wall feeder cattle report for April 8