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Cattle markets at a glance

After a few long, difficult years for cattle producers, there are finally some things to be optimistic about, said Matt Diersen, an agriculture economist at South Dakota State University (SDSU). A quick glance at the cattle markets reveals some exciting opportunities for producers to look forward to as they develop their marketing plans and strategies for the years to come.

In the past few months, auction markets have had record sale numbers as producers have loaded up their trailers with cattle to take advantage of the high prices. Diersen cited a few key factors to explain the sudden burst in cattle prices.

“There are a lot of things going on in our cattle markets today,” said Diersen. “Cattle feeders have made some money in the last 12 months as corn prices have declined. This has been passed on in the form of higher calf and high feeder prices during the last six months. However, the most basic explanation is this is a very typical seasonal high in the fed-calf market, which usually lasts from March until May.”



However, despite the high prices producers have experienced, there is also the typical slump that hits in June.

“Yes, prices are lower; we expected that,” noted Diersen. “We have passed that critical seasonal time of year with a low supply of fat cattle. Since then, we have had some disruptions with our global economy. The stock market has suffered, which, in turn, has carried over to our commodity markets. Corn has stayed reasonable, which has given some support to feeder cattle prices. These are some of the big pictures things we look at.”



After a few long, difficult years for cattle producers, there are finally some things to be optimistic about, said Matt Diersen, an agriculture economist at South Dakota State University (SDSU). A quick glance at the cattle markets reveals some exciting opportunities for producers to look forward to as they develop their marketing plans and strategies for the years to come.

In the past few months, auction markets have had record sale numbers as producers have loaded up their trailers with cattle to take advantage of the high prices. Diersen cited a few key factors to explain the sudden burst in cattle prices.

“There are a lot of things going on in our cattle markets today,” said Diersen. “Cattle feeders have made some money in the last 12 months as corn prices have declined. This has been passed on in the form of higher calf and high feeder prices during the last six months. However, the most basic explanation is this is a very typical seasonal high in the fed-calf market, which usually lasts from March until May.”

However, despite the high prices producers have experienced, there is also the typical slump that hits in June.

“Yes, prices are lower; we expected that,” noted Diersen. “We have passed that critical seasonal time of year with a low supply of fat cattle. Since then, we have had some disruptions with our global economy. The stock market has suffered, which, in turn, has carried over to our commodity markets. Corn has stayed reasonable, which has given some support to feeder cattle prices. These are some of the big pictures things we look at.”

After a few long, difficult years for cattle producers, there are finally some things to be optimistic about, said Matt Diersen, an agriculture economist at South Dakota State University (SDSU). A quick glance at the cattle markets reveals some exciting opportunities for producers to look forward to as they develop their marketing plans and strategies for the years to come.

In the past few months, auction markets have had record sale numbers as producers have loaded up their trailers with cattle to take advantage of the high prices. Diersen cited a few key factors to explain the sudden burst in cattle prices.

“There are a lot of things going on in our cattle markets today,” said Diersen. “Cattle feeders have made some money in the last 12 months as corn prices have declined. This has been passed on in the form of higher calf and high feeder prices during the last six months. However, the most basic explanation is this is a very typical seasonal high in the fed-calf market, which usually lasts from March until May.”

However, despite the high prices producers have experienced, there is also the typical slump that hits in June.

“Yes, prices are lower; we expected that,” noted Diersen. “We have passed that critical seasonal time of year with a low supply of fat cattle. Since then, we have had some disruptions with our global economy. The stock market has suffered, which, in turn, has carried over to our commodity markets. Corn has stayed reasonable, which has given some support to feeder cattle prices. These are some of the big pictures things we look at.”


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