NCBA discusses producer frustration with market movements

The wide disparity between boxed beef prices and cattle prices continues to frustrate cattle producers.

Ethan Lane with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says they’re well aware of those concerns.

“That’s something that we’re continuing to be concerned with,” Lane says. “It’s something that we have engaged with the packers in conversations over the past few days, talking about that disparity and asking them to make sure they’re bidding aggressively in the cash market—and making sure they’re keying those bids off what we’re seeing on that cutout price.”

Lane says NCBA is focused on the need for “real price discovery”.

“It’s clear to us that that futures market is not providing that price discovery in this current situation. So it’s something that we obviously are still searching for a good solution to,” he says.

“We’ve heard those folks out in the country that have made comments like, ‘maybe we need to shut the markets down’. We don’t believe that that would be prudent at this time. We need the market to continue to operate. We just need to make sure that it’s operating in a way that’s reflective of what’s happening on the ground.”

Lane says there has been talk in Congress about including direct payments to cattle producers in a financial stimulus package, but he says that is not something that is generally supported in NCBA policy.

Lane commented during a Wednesday conference call with ag reporters.

AUDIO: Excerpts from Ethan Lanes’ comments on market movements

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