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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

March 08, 2018

Market Update

Last week was rather mundane in the live cattle market as the fed-cattle cash trade played out just as predictably as it could. The $2 decline from $128 to $12 per hundredweight (cwt.) was not surprising as, really, we have seen the market hold more strength than many would have guessed through the month of February. Cattle supplies at their current tight levels allowed feedlots some leverage to keep the steer/heifer price higher while packers were able to push the cutout higher in late February to solidify their profit margin. Packers picked up the harvest pace last week after three weeks of sub-600,000 head harvest weeks, posting a 608,000 head total.

The latest reported week in carcass weights shows a big week-on-week decline, with the steer carcass weight down 8 pounds (lb.) in just one week to put steers only 2 lb. heavier than the same week last year. Heifer carcasses remain 4 lb. heavier than a year ago.

Read more of this CAB Insider online.

Rep. Noem Honored with Farm Bureau Golden Plow Award

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) March 8 presented Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) with AFBF’s Golden Plow award. The Golden Plow is the highest honor the organization gives to sitting members of Congress.

“It’s leaders like Kristi Noem of South Dakota who work hard to plow fertile ground … and harvest policies that help our farmers and ranchers remain on the land and stay productive,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We are honored to have Representative Noem here to accept this award in recognition of her superior leadership on behalf of U.S. agriculture and in support of Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy.”

The South Dakota Farm Bureau endorsed Noem for the award because of her commitment in Congress to issues important to farmers and ranchers. South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) appreciates that the representative’s priorities align with those of its members.

“She is an effective lawmaker — building relationships to collaborate and get things done to benefit agriculture in our state and across the country,” said AFBF Vice President Scott VanderWal, who also serves as president of SDFB.

For more information, read the full AFBF news release online.

Robust Growth in January Beef and Pork Export

U.S. beef and pork exports registered impressive gains in January and, based on weekly export reports, we expect February shipments to show robust growth, as well.

Total exports of fresh/frozen and cooked beef in January were 80,495 metric tons (mt), 14.5% higher than a year ago. Strong demand from Asian markets drove the gains in U.S. beef exports last year and that was the case again in January. Shipments to Hong Kong were 10,249 mt, a 44% gain compared to the previous year. Beef demand in China has been growing rapidly in recent years as consumers there adopt a more western diet, but also substitute chicken with beef due to bird flu fears.

Exports to Mainland China remain relatively small (802 mt), but as the supply of hormone-free beef in the United States increases, we should start to see more U.S. beef go to Mainland China directly. Japan remains the top market for U.S. beef, purchasing 20,554 mt in January, 9% more than the previous year.

The value of U.S. beef exports to Japan in January was $125.5 million, a 26% increase from the previous year and a clear indication of the robust demand for U.S. beef in export markets.

Read the full report online at

NFU Board Urges New Approach to Establish Fair Trade

The National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors March 7 urged President Trump to adopt a new, positive approach to establishing fair trade relationships with U.S. trading partners. The organization, a longtime “fair trade” proponent, is concerned the administration’s tactics threaten U.S. relationships with top trading partners and, consequently, the ability of the country to establish fair trade policies.

On the heels of newly proposed, universal tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the NFU Board said:

“Farmers Union, first and foremost, wants to ensure family farmers and ranchers benefit from fair trade relationships with our trading partners. Our members are severely disadvantaged by our current ‘free trade’ agenda that has amassed massive trade deficits and shipped away our sovereignty.

“While Farmers Union appreciates President Trump’s stated intent to fix these problems, his tactics to this point have insulted and alienated our closest trading partners. Instead of focusing on specific countries who are dumping or otherwise violating trade rules, the administration is proposing to sanction the entire world, which adds more volatility to already disturbed trading relationships.”

Learn more in the full NFU news release online.



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