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Markets

Natural gas prices continue to rise

Prices across most U.S. regions increased week-over-week.The largest increase in prices occurred in the Northeast, as continued cold temperatures and snow accumulation were setting records, particularly in the New England states. Prices were elevated at most trading hubs with the exception of the Midwest, where prices originally spiked on Wednesday last week and then moderated by the end of the report week.

Cow/Calf Producer

Understanding welfare food labels

Food labels that emphasize how animals are treated and cared for on the farm or ranch are becoming more widely recognized in grocery stores across the United States. When asked what a “humanely raised” label means to you, 55% of respondents chose the “only better treatment of animals” option and almost 30% chose “all of above: better treatment of animals, safer food, and more nutritious and healthy food.”

Cow/Calf Producer

Retail beef prices declined slightly in January, while pork declines slightly

That makes 11 record highs in the past 12 months for Choice beef and 20 record highs in the past 21 months for the All ‐ Fresh beef price series that includes Select and store ‐ grade beef items. The average retail price of a pound of pork was $3.989, down 0.1% from the previous month but still 6.1% higher than one year ago. The retail pork price has been higher, year ‐ on ‐ year, in every month since March 2013.

Industry

End of dairy quota impacting EU beef, too

While much of the speculation surrounding April’s abolishment of European Union (EU) milk quotas has focused on dairy production, liberalization of the dairy sector is also impacting EU beef production, according to a semi-annual report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The report, “EU Meat Sector Withstands Russian Ban,” was released through the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

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