Updates from the Economics Analysis Team
- April 2013 Livestock Market Update
For most of this year, beef cow slaughter has been well below year ago levels. This has not been surprising. For one thing, with a smaller cow herd to work with, even the same rate of slaughter (as a percent of cows available) would show up as a smaller absolute number of animals going to slaughter.
- April 2013 Crop Market Update
The last couple of weeks brought the first guess on what farmer’s will plant this year (providing that Mother Nature cooperates and provides an end to Winter weather), a measurement of the stocks available on March 1, and the latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates. This was a lot of information for the market to digest and some of the reports seem to contradict each other.
- March 2013 Livestock Market Update
In last month’s newsletter, we discussed declining price expectations in the fed cattle market, focusing mostly on demand side issues like payroll taxes and increasing gas prices. Unfortunately, the topic of deteriorating expectations in the meat complex remains relevant this month as well. This time, though, let’s focus on the supply side of the market. Also, as our point of departure for this discussion, let’s look at the hog market.
- March 2013 Crop Market Update
The March WASDE was not expected to provide dramatic changes to the Supply and Use balance sheets because the first survey on Prospective Plantings and the latest quarterly Grain Stocks survey will not be reported until March 29.
- February 2013 Livestock Market Update
By all appearances, the cattle market has been remarkably stable over the past several weeks. So far this year, cash fed cattle prices have continued to bounce around the $125 mark – roughly the same level that they have maintained since early last fall.
- February 2013 Crop Market Update
February is when the bidding for acres heats up in the commodity markets. The bidding process is through the futures market price which sends a profitability signal to producers and also sets the base prices used in many crop insurance products.
- January 2013 Livestock Market Update
Monthly figures showed a marked decline in beef production for December, with production down 5 percent from a year ago. This is not too far out of line with projections for the decline in beef production for 2013.
- January 2013 Trade Update
A country’s trade balance is no more than exports less imports. Under the Mercantilism doctrine (and in the common press) a negative trade balance is bad; a positive trade balance is good. But does it actually matter?
- December 2012 Crop Market Update
The December WASDE does not provide an update on corn, soybean or wheat production so there was little anticipation of major changes on the domestic balance sheets for these crops. As we enter winter, the market now places greater emphasis on the World balance sheets and Southern Hemisphere production potential.