Cattle market still bullish
Washington—The cattle market has been locked in an uptrend since last October.
US cattle futures climbed to the point that several live cattle contracts notched lifetime highs. Beef prices usually drop in June after the Memorial Day weekend, but prices kept climbing and sales are strong.
“Any time we can move beef, it’s a good thing, said cattle rancher Chris Dalley of Pingree. “Whenever there is a demand, the prices go up. Opening up China definitely keeps it going, thats another outlet we can sell to, and things haven't looked this good in a while.
“When the first shipments start in July, I think it’s going to help bring more stability to the market and we’ll be back in the black, said producer Gerald Marchant of Oakley.
One of the reasons for higher prices is tighter supply.
University of Idaho Ag Extension economist Hernan Tejeda says opening the China market is just part of the beef comeback.
“Herd size across the nation has expanded, cattlemen are holding onto cattle. The summer holidays always drive up prices, but supply is tightening. There has been strong herd expansion since 2015, ranchers think they can sell at a higher price so they’re hanging on to cattle.”
For how long no nobody knows but analysts say theres renewed optimism that export activity will stay strong thanks to reopening the China market. After the final details are worked out, China will see the first shipments of US beef in late July, the first shipments in more than 14 years.