The feedlot industry will spend much of the summer working through the backlog of fed cattle but the hole from March and April feedlot placements should provide a marketing window to catch up by this fall if not before.
Overall feed and forage will be favorable and provide more flexibility for feeder and feedlot cattle operations. Potentially emerging drought conditions are a threat and may reduce production and marketing flexibility.
Consumers first saw beef supply disruptions in March when the shutdown of food service shifted demand to the retail grocery side where supply chain bottlenecks and a surge in demand resulted in temporary shortages.
The beef cattle industry will receive $5.1 billion of CFAP funding to partially offset 2020 losses due to COVID-19. USDA expects to begin sign-up in early May and distribute payments by late May or early June.
The U.S. meat industry faces unprecedented threats as COVID-19 sweeps through labor forces nationwide. Production of beef, pork and poultry are simultaneously threatened by labor availability and processing capacity.
It's not clear where the boxed beef cutout will settle out in the coming days. At the same time, the demand for food service has dropped sharply leading to a diverse set of impacts on various wholesale beef cuts.