Profit potential remains in the cattle market

A livestock economist says as long as demand holds, there’s still a lot of upside potential in the cattle markets.

Brenda Boetel with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls says beef prices are high and the question remains how long consumers will continue to pay those prices. “How long is it that they’re going to want to continue to pay for those high beef prices? If we start to see a recession or if we start to see continued sluggishness within the economy or continued decreases in consumer savings, that might push back on beef consumption a little bit.”

Boetel says tighter beef supplies are impacting demand elsewhere. “Beef exports were down in ’23. They’ll be down again in ’24. It’s not because they don’t want U.S. beef, it’s because basically, we don’t have that large of a supply of it, with the strong dollar, all of that basically means we just don’t have that much to export.”

Boetel says while margins are better, producers should remain focused on risk management.

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