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Are cattle prices about the same as a year ago?
Does the mad cow scare have an impact on livestock prices?
Continuing consumer confidence in the quality and safety of American beef could be keeping prices high a livestock marketing specialist said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the beef industry have been active in assuring consumers that American USDA inspected beef continues to be the safest in the world.Cattle producers remain optimistic and believe that one huge hurdle has been cleared as U.S. consumers have not overreacted to the BSE incident. Beef is safe, packaged and inspected according to buyers' and customers' specifications.
If American consumer's demand for beef holds steady, fed cattle prices are
likely to stay in an acceptable price range.
Before the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, was reported in Washington state on Dec. 23, 2003 live cattle prices were at $91 per hundredweight. They have now stabilized and fed cattle prices could remain about where they are.
In 2002 U.S. beef exports totaled 2.45 billion pounds worth more more than $2.5 billion. This is about 9 percent of U.S. commercial beef production. Domestic demand accounts for nearly 90 percent of U.S. beef production. Beef prices advance or decline based on the number of cattle available for slaughter and their projected carcass weights. When BSE turned up in Canada last May and halted that nation's exports, Canadian cattle prices dropped much more because Canada exports between 50 percent and 60 percent of its domestic beef supply.
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