Steiner Group Consulting, in the “Daily Livestock Report,” said some panic trading is expected to occur as a Donald Trump presidency, which was deemed unlikely by markets, has become the reality. Additional uncertainty was added as analysts believe Trump's economic positions are less predictable than presidential opponent Hillary Clinton's would have been.
As election results began to unfold late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, the Dow futures plunged more than 700 points. By Wednesday morning, however, the volatility had calmed, with both U.S. and European stocks opening flat.
“The role of markets is, in part, to price risk, and until proven otherwise, market participants will look to price the risk of trade war(s) with some of our largest trading partners,” Steiner Group said.
While a sell-off is likely, the firm said it may be tempered by the realization that the immediate material impacts could be limited.
“In the short term, we think the currency shifts have the more immediate impact," the report said. "One thing to notice is the dramatic drop in the value of the peso and what that does to the ability of Mexican importers to source U.S. red meat and poultry products.”
Longer term, however, no one really knows how things will play out, the consulting firm said. “The only thing we have to go (on) are statements and positions taken by president-elect Trump during the election," Steiner Group said. "Promises of heavy tariffs on imports, the erection of a physical barrier with one of our largest trading partners, the commitment to do away with (the North American Free Trade Agreement), no (Trans-Pacific Partnership), limits on free trade in order to stimulate domestic jobs and other such commitments may have a significant detrimental impact on the meat industry.”
Steiner Group said economists can argue about the overall macro effects of such policies and their potential general impact on the economy, “but for livestock producers, the issue is much more parochial, and some livestock producers stand to lose more than others.”
According the report, pork has benefitted the most from international trade expansion. In 1995, U.S. pork exports were 787 million lb. (carcass weight basis), and pork imports were 664 million lb., resulting in a net trade effect of 123 million lb. Last year, however, pork exports were 5 billion lb., while pork imports were 1.11 billion, leaving a positive trade balance of 3.9 billion lb.
On the chicken side, exports accounted for 15.7% of overall U.S. chicken production in 1995. While highly pathogenic avian influenza wreaked havoc on exports last year, chicken exports have mostly comprised around 19-20% of production per year.
Beef saw some growth, but not as much as the other main proteins. Exports accounted for 9.6% of U.S. beef production in 2015, compared to 7.3% in 1995.