In this file:


·         US: As COVID-19 rattles market, cattle farmers face drop in sales prices

·         Canada: COVID-19 taking a toll on cattle markets

·         The Coronavirus Is Hitting The Cattle Market Hard



As COVID-19 rattles market, cattle farmers face drop in sales prices


By Adam Burniston, WKYT (KY) 

Mar 18, 2020


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Amid closures for restaurants and other businesses, another group taking a hit from the coronavirus is cattle farmers.


In Lexington, Bluegrass Stockyards have remained open, but officials are saying sales margins have decreased.


Despite several grocery stores seeing their meat departments depleted, cattle farmers are still struggling as their sale prices plummet due to the major fall of the stock markets.


“Approximately 30% of the value of an animal just evaporated over the last two weeks at a very critical time of year for most of our local farmers,” says COO Jim Akers, with Bluegrass Stockyards.


That means calves that used to sell for roughly $1.60 a pound, are now bringing in only $1.30 and bigger cattle are seeing the same trend.


Though the prices are lower, Akers says they’re fortunate they can at least provide a place to sell so these farmers can provide for their families.


“There are markets around the county that have actually closed their sale rings to buyers only, we hope we don’t have to do that, but if we do to continue operation, we will,” says Akers.


As Bluegrass Stockyards continue their normal operations, leaders are also making sure to follow the recommended CDC guidelines.


“Most of our commercial buyers are isolated up here in booths anyways, but the farmers, yeah we’re monitoring the sale ring and have told people, please don’t be offended if we ask you guys to spread out,” says Akers.


Akers says there is some good news for the cattle industry once the coronavirus spread starts to slow...





COVID-19 taking a toll on cattle markets

Cattle markets in Canada and the United States are being knocked around with uncertainty due to the threat of COVID-19


By Barbara Duckworth, The Western Producer (Canada) 

March 18, 2020


Cattle markets in Canada and the United States are being knocked around with uncertainty due to the threat of COVID-19.


Canada follows the U.S. cutout wholesale beef price which is soaring while live prices struggle.


“We are hearing from our producers across the country that the spread between the boxed beef side and the live cattle price doesn’t reflect the reality on the ground,” said Ethan Lane of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in a March 18 press conference.


There has been an ongoing issue with price discovery on the cash side and it is playing out in stark relief this week as the futures markets tumble.


“We have seen quite a bit of price fluctuation across all the of US financial markets. This is not an issue that is exclusive to the US cattle markets,” he said.


The Canadian situation is exacerbated by a dollar trading below 69 cents.


Purebred and commercial cattle have been moving through public auction markets, said Brian Perillat of Canfax.


“Feeder cattle markets are going with a little lighter volume as guys are holding off selling some cattle,” he said.


Markets are not that busy this time of year so social distancing is possible and managers are trying to monitor the size of the crowds.


Consumers across the country are facing empty meat cases.


“If anything packers have boosted production,” Perillat said.


Packers are making money and there is tremendous demand to restock empty shelves. Beef that was destined for restaurants could go to retail instead.


“Beef prices have gone up and cattle prices are pretty cheap so packers are running Saturdays. We operate on just in time inventory so they will be replenishing those shelves,” he said.


A critical control point is monitoring workers’ health at processing facilities.


“That is one of the reasons the markets are under so much pressure,” he said.


Markets are unsteady fearing the loss of a packer when where there are plenty of cattle to be processed and limited shackle space...





The Coronavirus Is Hitting The Cattle Market Hard


by: Robert Suhr, KXNet (ND) 

Mar 18, 2020


Bismarck – It seems no industry is immune to the reach of the coronavirus, and the cattle markets are no exception.


The markets for livestock have become extremely volatile since the spread of the coronavirus began.


The fear is the economic slowdown will result in lower demand for beef products, therefore, leading to excess supply.


Monday, prices for live and feeder cattle as well as hogs all hit new 10 year lows before rebounding slightly Tuesday.


Market experts say once the panic eases, the Agriculture markets should rebound in a big way.


North Dakota’s top AG official says the demand for beef is there, but getting it to the consumer has been the challenge...