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Beef, pork sectors ‘just trying to get through’Beef, pork sectors ‘just trying to get through’

Pork and beef exports way down as industries struggle to move meat.

Krissa Welshans 1

March 7, 2018

1 Min Read
Beef, pork sectors ‘just trying to get through’

David Williams, director of global protein for Informa Economics IEG, said beef demand has been holding as the cutout appears to be “hanging in there.”

He said volumes are very light out front as packers are “just trying to get through this time frame.”

Packer margins did improve last week, but packers are trying to push the cattle price lower, Williams said. Feeders, on the other hand, are trying to hold on to a higher price as long as they can because they know the inventory is gigantic behind it, he added.

“It’s always better to start from $130 versus $120," Williams said. "The downward spiral is going to happen. It’s just a matter of where we start from and how much we’re going to fall. I still believe that we’re going to trade cattle under or right at close to $100(/cwt.) before it’s all said and done. That will happen between now and July.”

That’s a $25 cash break, he added.

For the pork industry, Williams said demand is really bad. In fact, he said the cutout and hog prices both have declined.

“We haven’t seen the worst of it yet. Mexico is pulling back. Both beef and pork exports are way down. It’s a struggle right now to move that meat,” Williams said.

Pork will be under a lot of pressure for the next three weeks, he said.

In regard to rising feed costs, Williams said profitability likely will be affected, but producers are not slowing their pace.

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