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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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The 2017 U.S. commercial beef production forecast was reduced almost 150 million pounds from the previous month to 26.4 billion pounds on fewer fourth-quarter steer and heifer marketings and lighter carcass weights.

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U.S. domestic beef consumption is projected to be 56.6 pounds per capita for 2017, up from 55.4 pounds in 2016 (retail weight). That is a 2.2 percent year-over-year increase. Beef consumption is higher because beef production is increasing; in fact, it is projected to be up 3.8 percent year over year from 2016.

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How will the expansion of the global beef market, especially with new consumer bases opening up in China and around the world, affect the U.S. cattle producer?

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“This has been one of the few years in history when every segment of the industry made money. And that doesn’t happen very often,” said Duane Lenz, general manager of CattleFax, at the California Cattleman’s Association annual convention in Reno, Nevada. Generally, one segment of the cattle market makes a profit at the expense of another segment.

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The latest weekly carcass weight data for the week ending on Nov. 18 showed steer carcass weights at 902 pounds for the third consecutive week. This is likely the seasonal peak in carcass weights and is up 70 pounds from the seasonal low of 832 pounds in early May.

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The 2017 U.S. commercial beef production forecast was lowered slightly from last month at the time of this writing to 26.6 billion pounds. Beef production in 2018 is projected up 20 million pounds from the previous month to 27.3 billion pounds on heavier fed cattle weights during the year.

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