Despite recent cattle price gains, March earns an overall down arrow on growing concerns of increasing supplies, higher feed costs and increasing competition from poultry and pork. Drovers’ indicators are a snapshot of the collective markets and their direction, thus the growing concern over increasing supplies of all meats.
Retail beef prices are softer, which will help move product, but retail prices for pork and poultry are also lower. Feedyard margins were excellent in February, but packer margins moved into the red. Beef cow and heifer slaughter has ticked up suggesting expansion has slowed.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Drovers.