Cattlefax Predicts Market Rebound
The price of Beef has been all over the place in the last couple of months.
Duane Lenz is a market analyst for cattlefax and says - it could be awhile before prices get back to where it was before the pandemic.
“We have labor restraints at packing facilities and, fortunately, it looks like the worst of it was in April and now things are looking up in May.” “The bottom line is, we have to recognize that it will take some time to get back to those pre-COVID-19 levels, and those levels may look different than it did in the past. In other words, we might not get back to full capacity, and we might see more Saturday kills than what we were previously doing.”
Just how far behind are we in processing?
“Much more of the backlog in processing right now is occurring in the heifer slaughter verses the cow and bull slaughter. If you think about packing plant facilities, cow kills in particular, there’s not as much fab work being done. It’s either whole muscle middles or basically hamburger or grinds.
“Whereas steer and heifer carcasses see a multitude of cuts, so there’s much more employment and activity taking place in the fab department of the packing plant. So that’s why the logistics of social distancing in the plant is more difficult.”
As we come through the first week of May, CattleFax data show that our industry is behind on projected harvesting levels by 750,000 head.
“Data would suggest that as we ramp up in the month of May and early June that we will be 1 million head behind.”