The new year brings with it several changes in ongoing market dynamics, some new opportunities, and some new risks and continuing challenges for cattle and beef markets.
No matter how cow-calf producers judge the past year – good, just okay or disappointing – there is value in taking some time to analyze the reasons for the outcome.
Sharply higher carcass weights have boosted beef production, though another round of winter weather hitting parts of cattle feeding country may temper that in the last few weeks of the year.
Beef exports were down 9.0 percent in October compared to last year, contributing to a 4.2 percent year over year decrease in beef exports for the first ten months of 2019.
Severe weather inevitably means management challenges and higher costs for producers but may also have market impacts if poor conditions are widespread enough.
USDA's cattle on feed report counted 11.83 million head on feed, which is 101.2% of last year and up 4.8% from October as feedlot inventories increase to a seasonal peak.
Preconditioning programs add value to cattle and the value is consistently reflected in premiums for certified preconditioned calves sold under specific programs.
USDA-AMS reports that combined volumes for seven Oklahoma auctions are up 7.0 percent year over year over the past six weeks.