The strong futures market during March and April ramped up calf prices and now the owners of those cattle have been watching potential profitability dissipate into mounting losses.
Finished cattle prices continued their consistent weekly decline for the third consecutive week.
In hindsight, selling every head of cattle a person owned in 2014 and then buying back animals in late 2015 would have resulted in windfall gains for most commercial cattle producers.
International meat trade is a big business, and price and quality are the primary determinants for importers.
The steer by-product price is currently trading just over $9 per hundredweight which is one of the lowest values dating back to 2009.
Cattle markets sometimes take on the persona of an untrained dog whose attention goes something like: Bird! Squirrel! Rabbit! Biscuit!
Commercial beef production in January totaled 2.3 billion pounds which was an increase in production of 295 million pounds compared to January 2018.
The waves or price fluctuations of the nearby futures contract should not incite panic among producers or industry participants.