Packing Plant Bottleneck Continues To Plague Cattle Feeders

Cash cattle decline again ( CBP )

The cash fed cattle market continued on a dismal decline last week.  In the South the cash market ranged from $100 early in the week to $95 as the week went on.  As with previous weeks, the industry continues to have a bottleneck getting cattle out of the yards and into the plants, therefore, the number that was traded was very limited. 

The North was not left out of the dollar decline. Their cash trade saw ranges of $94 up to $100 and dressed trade form the mid $140s up to upper $150s. The only bright light for the Northern trade was the number of cattle that traded was slightly higher.

Limited trade is anticipated again this week.  Many plants continue to struggle with getting workers into the plant on a consistent basis. All the packing plants have aggressively put in safety precautions to reduce the incidence of exposure to COVID-19.  However, concerns are escalating that increased threat in COVID-19 positives are due to a lack of compliance to social distancing once the workers leave and return to their homes. 

The cattle numbers continue to back up at the yards with inability to get greater capacity through the plants. The next couple of weeks on shipments are critical for the cattle industry outlook.

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