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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 USDA’s weekly Export Sales report and weekly reports of export inspections provide timely information about export demand for U.S. agricultural commodities. The U.S. Census Bureau, however, is the official source of export estimates. The monthly Census Bureau reports are not as timely as USDA reports, but provide an opportunity to reassess export progress during the marketing year.

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naturalbeef_regDecember statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) confirm that 2010 was the best year ever for U.S. beef export value. A final total of $4.08 billion breaks the pre-BSE high from 2003 of $3.86 billion by more than 5 percent and exceeds the 2009 total by nearly $1 billion. Total volume was 1.067 million metric tons, an increase of 19 percent over 2009.

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Three weeks ago we assessed the rate of consumption of corn and soybeans and concluded that corn consumption was progressing too rapidly based on available supplies. Soybean consumption appeared to have slowed enough so that further rationing was not required.

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0211pc_marketreport_1Feeder cattle demand, trading activity, and price levels for the opening month of 2011 were all unprecedented with feeder cattle over 600 pounds trading $7 to $15 higher and calves under 600 pounds selling $13.00 to $18 higher than 2010’s closing markets. Market watchers basically ran out of superlatives to use in trying to describe January’s feeder markets; most are down to just saying that they never saw anything like it, but the reality is – no one has ever saw anything like it before.

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meat_regNovember exports of U.S. beef reached their highest monthly volumes in more than two years, according to results compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef export value in November was $389.5 million, an increase of nearly 50 percent over November 2009. By volume (101,323 metric tons), beef exports exceeded the year-ago level by 32 percent. For the first 11 months of 2010, exports were 18 percent above 2009 in terms of volume (964,369 metric tons) and 30 percent higher by value ($3.67 billion). The value total is about 1 percent ahead of the 2003 pace when beef exports went on to set a single-year record of $3.86 billion. Exports accounted for 11.6 percent of production with a per-head value equivalent of $150.36 ($178. 20 in November) - up dramatically from the 2009 totals of 9.8 percent and $117.80.

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0111pc_peck_1Anyone who hasn’t been following the events occurring throughout the Argentine cattle business for the past four years will find the following astounding. Those with even a cursory interest in beef happenings across what’s been called the Western Hemisphere’s oldest beef export industry will simply shake their head in dismay. And even the most hard-hearted protectionist cattleman in this country should have some sympathy for the plight of the average Argentine cattle farmer.

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