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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

February 7, 2018

Quality Pays in 2017

As annual reviews are more enjoyable if the evaluation shows improvement, marketers of high-quality beef and cattle like to see a measurable margin for the extra effort. In 2017, packers were willing to pay steady to stronger grid prices for cattle hitting the quality and yield grade marks. On the quality side, the bellwether is the Choice-Select spread, averaging $11.82 per hundredweight (cwt.) for the year in the USDA weighted average, $1.11 per cwt. higher on the year.

The spike came in early June with a $27.07-per-cwt. advantage to Choice carcasses, $5 per cwt. higher than the 2016 high, with a seasonal low in September of $2.72 per cwt. Prime carcasses were paid on average a $15.94-per-cwt. premium over Choice in a narrow range spanning just $5.89 per cwt. from $13.71 per cwt. to $19.60 per cwt.

The CAB premium averaged just a little lower than the year before, down 17¢ at $4.33 per cwt. July through September figures pulled the average down because Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand acceptance rates outpaced packers’ expectations.

Keep reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Few Moments Wasted as Thousands
Make Memories at Cattle Industry Convention

Nearly 7,600 members of the cattle community enjoyed fellowship, fun, education and leadership opportunities during the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show, which officially ended in Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 2

Most in attendance enjoyed a huge and energetic trade show, with more than 350 exhibitors on more than seven acres of floor and outside space. Holding business meetings at the event were the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Members of NCBA also elected officers and engaged in a grassroots policy process at the event.

Ascending to the position of NCBA president at the NCBA board meeting Feb. 3 was Kevin Kester, who in 2017 served as president-elect. Kester is a fifth-generation California rancher who was born and raised in the Parkfield area of southern Monterey County, where his family has lived for more than 125 years. They have a yearling stocker and an Angus-based commercial cow-calf operation, and also farm wine grapes on their 22,000-acre ranch.

Read the full NCBA news release online.

December Exports and Top Markets in 2017

December export data for beef and pork was better than expected while shipments of fresh/frozen chicken were somewhat disappointing.

Total exports of fresh/frozen and cooked beef in December were 86,285 metric tons (mt), slightly less than the all time record November beef export volume but still about 2.5% higher than a year ago. Using weekly export data, we were projecting December beef shipments to post a modest decline compared to a year ago. Keep in mind that weekly data only covers muscle cuts and not all traders report into the system. The fact that monthly exports have come above expectations in the last three reported months will likely cause us to adjust higher our projections for January and February, as well.

More importantly, the value of U.S. beef shipments in December was $57 million higher than the previous year, an 11% increase — evidence of robust demand for U.S. beef products in world markets. Total U.S. beef shipments in 2017 were 948,042 mt, 11.8% higher than the previous year. The value of all exports of fresh/frozen and cooked beef in 2017 was $6.4 billion, 17% higher than the previous year.

Read the full report online at

Farmers Union Launches Farm Bill Campaign

American family farmers and ranchers are enduring the worst economic slide in generations, and they need Congress to pass a farm bill in 2018 to strengthen the farm safety net.

In order to educate the general public and to generate support for a farm bill to be passed this year, National Farmers Union (NFU) and Farmers Union state divisions have developed a digital campaign, complete with a new website, a farm bill video, animated short videos, weekly promotions and a petition. The family farm organization is calling on Congress to strengthen programs that support family farm agriculture, vibrant rural communities, a clean environment and hungry Americans.

“Family farmers and consumers alike are in urgent need of strong farm and food policies to be passed in the farm bill this year,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “As the agriculture committees ready to propose farm bill legislation, Farmers Union wants to be sure all members of Congress understand why the farm bill is so vital to family farm agriculture, our land, our rural communities and our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

For more information, read the NFU news release online.


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