Beef Prices Finding a Reason to Hang Tough

Cattle Markets
Cattle herd. ( Sara Brown )

Cattle markets are still digesting winter and early spring storms. During a conversation with AgDay's Clinton Griffiths, Joe Vaclavik of Standard Grain says it is having an impact.

"We've seen some positive things, including the cash market," says Vaclavik. "It's set back a little bit the last couple of weeks, but is still generally a strong trade."

He says the boxed beef market has been on a grind higher and trade is decent. 

"Export sales this last week were not that great but in general demand seems to be very good," says Vaclavik. "We've had several months in a row including a really strong string of record export business for beef."

Vaclavik says even the technicals on the chart look good. 

"We've set back from the highs and maybe the bull market got ahead of itself a little bit, but I would probably argue that both cattle and feeder cattle are still in bull market territory," says Vaclavik. "I'd also probably make an argument that this African swine fever thing is just friendly the protein markets in general."

He says future prices will depend on the outcome of the many different trade battles the U.S. is involved in right now including China, Mexico and Canada. 

"You've got a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of issues in regard to trade that could become problems down the road," says Vaclavik.