According to Jim Robb, executive director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, the four-week run-up in slaughter cattle markets and higher wholesale boxed beef trade has been unprecedented. He told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays it is because certain factors in the marketplace have converged into the perfect storm, so to speak, that has spurred the dramatic leap in prices. He says in particular, strength in the export market has had a lot to do with it.
“This has been the best March that we’ve had since 2011 in terms of US beef export tonnage,” he said, noting that USDA has reported a 25 percent increase. “That export market is clearly part of the reason that packers have had to chase cattle supplies.”
And it’s not because of winter weather that producers have seen lower carcass weights being pushed through either. In reality, it has been the because of the aggressive marketing that has been done since last fall.