Date of this Version
Farm and Ranch Management News (April 22, 2020).
The effects of COVID-19 on the livestock market are well known and felt. Some effects include depressed futures and cash prices, unusual basis patterns, decreased packer bids and sale barn volume, packing plant closures, consumer hording of meat products, and shifting food service products for retail consumption. All these effects occurred as market participants grappled with everchanging government and industry policy which reduced consumer demand and resulted in bottlenecks and increasing supply gluts upstream. Simultaneously reducing demand and increasing supply always cause prices to plummet, and in the case of COVID-19 very rapidly. Some segments of the market are likely to begun to stabilize as government lockdown restrictions are lifted. However, the beef complex still has significant supply and demand issues to sort through in the coming months.
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