Wednesday, February 1, 2012

US Cattle Heard Drops To 1958 Lows

We have a looming beef shortage.
The cattle herd in the U.S. may be the smallest since 1958!

Bloomberg reports:
Ranchers held 91.24 million head of cattle as of Jan. 1, down 1.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. That would be the smallest since Dwight Eisenhower was president. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to release its herd report at 3 p.m. in Washington.

A record drought in Texas last year and rising feed costs prompted ranchers to cull herds, even as beef exports surged from the U.S., the world’s largest producer. Cattle futures are up 15 percent since the end of June, reaching a record seven times this month, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center says retail-beef prices that reached an all-time high on an annual basis in 2011 will keep rising through next year.

“The drought certainly was the game changer of 2011,” Jim Robb, the director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, a Denver-based researcher, said in a telephone interview. “Feedstuffs were record-high costs. The herd on a national basis declined.”
and so prepare for beef prices to rise dramatically:
The herd of beef cows held for breeding probably shrank to 30.05 million head as of Jan. 1, the lowest since 1962, according to the average of 10 estimates in the Bloomberg survey. The calf crop should be smaller than last year, marking the 17th consecutive year of declines, said Ron Plain, a livestock economist at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

“Fewer calves being born means ultimately fewer cattle will be slaughtered,” Plain, who has studied the industry for three decades, said in a telephone interview. “That means the tight beef supply is going to get tighter as we go through 2012 and 2013 and 2014.”

Inflation will make the problem even worse.
We are already seeing higher prices in the market.

Maybe that's why Obama signed the bill that lifted the ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption. America needs to be able to export that meat to Asia and beyond.

For all you Primal Blueprinters out there... you better get all your meat eating done now... you may have to resort to Vegetarianism before too long.