Current. Relevant. Quality-driven.
For nearly 10 years, Paul Dykstra has written a bi-weekly market column for the brand, these past six years as the CAB Insider. He shares current market updates, trends and observations with a closer look at the cattle market from the beef-product side than you can find anywhere else. Yes, there’s an emphasis on the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, and you will find the latest research exploring carcass quality. We want you to be the first to know all of this important industry information, to help bring even more value to your herd.
The man on the inside
A native of Colorado, he grew up on a commercial cow calf ranch in western Colorado and later earned a degree in animal science from Colorado State University. Paul worked as a feedyard manager for the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., before joining the brand’s supply development team in 2002.
As the Assistant Director of Supply Management and Analysis for the brand, Paul combines his experience and knowledge to work closely with ranchers and feedyard managers to raise Angus cattle using the best management practices to enhance profitability by producing quality beef.
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The brand recently announced two additional carcass spec modifications to further enhance opportunities for stakeholders. As we ease toward October, feedyard managers will remain hopeful for increasing values in both cash cattle and deferred live cattle futures contracts.
Seven weeks of slight improvements in fed cattle pricing came to a halt as packers paid $1 to $2/cwt. less for fed cattle last week. The USDA Cattle on Feed Report, published the Friday before, had some influence, with the August 1 on-feed number posting a record high for the date.
Spot market carcass cutout values are subject to anomalies. Protein buyers may take advantage of opportunities in seasonal shifts, market disruptions or other unexpected changes in supply and demand.
Fed cattle prices have stabilized and improved in the later part of July, but are still lower than a year ago. With a backlog of cattle on feed longer, greater eligibility is joining up with higher quality grades to increase July certified head counts above those seen a year ago.
The past couple of weeks have offered little excitement in the fed cattle trade. Consumer driven economic signals have been passed back to producers because the marketplace has been allowed to differentiate price for cattle and beef product based on quality specifications and other merits.
Packers have proven capable of not only large weekly production but of daily headcounts on par or larger than a year ago. The turnaround in the cattle cycle and the abnormalities of 2020 will further incentivize producers to shrink the nation’s herd.