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D.R. Cattle

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Dec 26, 2003
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East Central Florida
Wholesale beef sales up

by Brendan O'Neill on 1/15/04 for Meatingplace.com

Demand for beef is still high -- and rising -- as wholesalers bought the third-largest largest amount of beef in a one-week period since 1990.

During the week ending Jan. 10, beef wholesalers purchased 21.7 million pounds of beef, a figure 42.6 percent greater than during the week ending Oct. 31, 2003, which was considered a good week, according to Michelle Peterson, of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

"We expect to see heavy demand through the end of the month and into February, particularly with the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day," said Peterson. "The demand should remain high, with beef at great prices."

Wholesale beef prices have dropped 19 percent since the finding of the single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Washington state on Dec. 23.

"Prices finally got low enough to attract buyers for retailers and food service operators," said David Weaber, research director at Cattle-Fax, a cattle market analysis and research firm in Denver. "Retailers have seen very little negative response to the whole situation. They're confident in buying the product and turning around and selling it."
Went to the local salebarn on Wednesday (Southeastern Nebraska Livestock Auction, Palmyra, Nebraska) and was quite surprised by the prices.
If anything they're up some from the first part of December. Yellow/tan 650 lb steers sold for $119/cwt. Black 500 lb heifers went for $98, and the steers went for $115.

I bought 2 month old Angus heifer for $200 (put her on a Jersey). Her 3 yearling half-sisters sold for $900 each, and her three 6 month old half-sisters brought $100/cwt.

Ann Bledsoe
I saw this at the meatingplace.com site. Sounds good to me:

"Japan official calls lifting of beef ban 'desirable'

by Eric Hanson on 1/16/04 for Meatingplace.com

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman was told by her Japanese counterpart that an early lifting of the ban on U.S. beef is "desirable" and said there would be talks on the subject next week, the Associated Press reported.

In a phone conversation Yoshiuki Kamei and Veneman "agreed that a quick re-opening of the beef trade was desirable," a Japanese ministry official said.

Japan is America's largest export market for beef.

Veneman said a U.S. delegation would head to Japan next week to discuss resuming the beef trade.

Kamei later told reporters that the condition for resuming trade depended on the United States taking measures to prevent bovine spongiform encephalopathy that would reassure Japanese consumers.

"I told her that the U.S. measures have not reached the level of Japanese standards," Kamei said.

As well, Australia, Japan's second-largest beef provider, urged the resumption of U.S. beef exports to Japan in order to protect its exports to America, according to the AP.

Samantha Jamieson, spokesperson for Meat and Livestock Australia, said that if American beef was consumed domestically rather than exported, Australia's exports to the United States could be hurt.

Wholesale prices of Australian beef in Japan have risen 60 percent since the ban on U.S. beef. Jamieson said that if consumers saw such prices they could be turned off to beef entirely.

Even with increased Australian imports Japan still would face a shortage of beef, a Chinese news service reported."


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