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After Unprecedented Strength, Wholesale Beef Prices Have Reached a Cliff, But is it Time to Panic? (Jul 07, 2017)

These last few weeks, wholesale boxed beef market prices have begun to slide. Jim Robb, director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, who works with land grant universities around the country looking at meat demand outlook, told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays in a recent conversation, that this past week heading into the Fourth of July, prices went over a cliff.

“We lost $15 per cwt in the boxed beef wholesale market,” Robb reported. “That’s a precipitous decline, obviously. But not completely unusual.”

Recently, this market has been down as much as $20 and some change, Robb says. But he ensures, it is not time to panic. This time last year, it was again down around $16.50 per cwt. Robb makes the case that this level of decline is somewhat normal year to year. His concern is only that it has seemed to have happened so quickly after we have seen markets perform so strongly for so long now this year.

“We had been talking for weeks that the wholes market had not moved down very much and now that has really caught up with the live animal side of the market,” he said. “I don’t think we panic too much about the domestic beef demand component. It’s a concern but most of this story has been here in the short-term supply side.”
 

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