by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Agrimarketing : November December 2009
November/December 2009 Agri Marketing 23 FOCUS ON: MARKETING TO BEEF PRODUCERS HOPING FOR BETTER TIMES AHEAD BEEF'S UNCERTAIN FUTURE by Doug Houghton Brock & Associates, Milwaukee, WI email@example.com www.brockreport.com After enduring a rough 2009, the U.S. beef industry faces highly uncertain prospects for 2010, with high unemployment threatening to keep beef demand under pressure, while producers continue to face high operating costs and tight credit conditions. Beef demand has suffered badly in 2009 with economic difficulties driving consumers to lower priced cuts of meat. Through October, a University of Missouri index of consumer demand for beef was down 2.3% from a year earlier and was the weakest since 1999. Although there are clear signs U.S. economic growth has started to recover, so far, this has been a jobless recovery with unemployment topping 10% for the first time in 23 years last month. The unemployment rate is expected to top out by early 2010, but there is likely to be little job growth next year, which means consumers may continue to favor lower-priced cuts of meat. Rising exports will provide limited help to the beef market. USDA projects U.S. beef exports will increase by 4.3% in 2010, but exports will still absorb only a small portion --- 7.5% --- of U.S. beef production. Higher prices for competing meats may ease pressure on beef prices. Low prices for other meats, especially pork, caused a sizeable amount of pressure on beef prices in 2009. Pork prices have started to recover and are expected to strengthen in 2010, with supplies seen 2% to 3% below a year earlier. Meanwhile, producers face a potential credit crunch with banks expected to remain cautious lenders as federal regulators tighten lending rules and raise capital requirements for banks. Even though feed grain supplies appear ample to meet demand at present, a renewed flow of investor money into commodity futures threatens to push feed costs higher again. This could lead to more con- solidation in the beef and dairy industries as some producers are not in the financial shape to withstand higher grain prices. The one clear bright spot on the horizon for cattlemen is that overall U.S. cattle supplies are the smallest in many years and are continuing to shrink. USDA's July inventory report pegged the U.S. cattle herd at 101.8 million head, the smallest on record going back to 1972, with the number of heifers kept for beef cow replace- ment tying a 37-year low. However, while overall cattle numbers are declining, supplies of market-ready beef cattle figure to be larger in early 2010 than in they were in 2009 due to large feedlot place- ments during July-September. The number of cattle in U.S. feedlots was above a year earlier for the first time in 17 months at the start of October. This supply increase will put added strain on a weak beef market during the first quarter of 2010. OPTIMISM IS AS OPTIMISM DOES by Burt Rutherford Sr. Editor, BEEF magazine Minneapolis, MN www.beefmagazine.com There's a saying that Dale Carnegie grads remember: "If you act enthusiastic, you will be enthusiastic." That's absolutely true. But after two years of being kicked in the gut (more on page 24) Houghton
Marketing Services Guide 2010
World Ag Congress