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Beef Cattle Market: 2018 in Review and a Look Ahead – USA

By Richard Brosnan

Story from Drovers: Driving the Beef Market (Online Industry Website USA) By Josh Maples, Mississippi State University January 3, 2019

Beef Cattle Market: 2018 in Review and a Look Ahead – USA

Large supplies, record exports, and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that dominated the beef headlines in 2018. Amidst all of these factors, U.S. calf and yearling prices have showed relatively consistent strength throughout the year. 2019 will likely bring a mostly flat year for national herd growth which will position the industry at a pivotal point for supplies and prices moving forward. In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper into a few key drivers to watch in 2019.

Cattle and Calf Supplies

Cattle and beef supplies have been growing since the price peak in 2014-2015 and this continues to be the primary headwind to higher prices. The 2018 U.S. calf crop was about 8.5% larger than it was in 2014 – that is nearly 3 million more calves on the ground. However, that growth has been slowing recently with 2019 expected to be close to flat for …………

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