Varilek’s Cattle Call: Industry on the Fight
There is not much change week to week when it comes to the cattle markets. I can report the fundamentals we see, but the cash market is at a set price around $1.91 dressed if you are able to get the bid. With the floor price producers are unable to ask for a higher price with many lining up for $1.91 when available. Generally selling cattle in May does not come with much headache in the peak demand season. The disconnect is unnerving with the new crop calves nearing the finished category.
Politicians and cattle groups are buzzing to try find solutions for the cattle industry. An investigation of the industry is being called yet again to analyze the packing industry. In the last few years, this has happened with no definitive results. Producers are very frustrated with the lack of profitability while there is an abundance of dollars in the whole industry. It is a strong tradition that producers are fighting for. This is not comparative to losing a whole grain crop in one year. It has taken generations to build up some of these family operations we know and love, and the bottom lines of these operations are being challenged.
Cattle weights for the week ending May 8 showed and increase of 5 pounds for steers bringing them back in line with year ago levels. We expected carcass weights to distance themselves below year ago levels when comparing to the covid 19 shakeup that backed up cattle for the year 2020. Unfortunately, the producer’s inability to move cattle with lack of bids has northern producers in a similar position to last year. It is a broken record talking about the live cattle industry issues, but we keep fighting to keep a sustainable business for years to come.
Scott Varilek, Kooima Kooima Varilek Trading
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