The latest U.S. trade data reveals some interesting trends as a result of recent events. China is importing a lot more U.S. pork, and steadily increasing U.S. beef purchases.
Derrell Peel - Oklahoma State University
Barring a major setback, it appears that America's beef markets are moving past the worst of the COVID-19 disruptions that have caused upheaval in recent weeks.
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 anger and frustration of some cattlemen has turned to accusations and proposals for change that will have long-term implications and unintended consequences for the cattle and beef industry.
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 current cattle market situation creates significant disparities between the current supply and demand situation and expectations for coming supply and demand conditions.
The U.S. and global economy is in uncharted waters. There are many unknowns about the timing, severity and aftermath of the disease. For beef, there are longer-term questions about the overall impact on demand.
The Cattle report issued by USDA confirms that cyclical herd expansion in the U.S. is over. The numbers indicate that while cattle inventories have stopped growing no major liquidation is underway.
Weather challenges in 2019 led to many questions about the quantity and quality of hay production and supply heading into 2020.