Beef exports have evolved significantly in a very dynamic environment of global politics and trade policies; direct and indirect impacts of animal disease outbreaks; and growing beef preferences and consumption.
USDA-NASS released two reports last week that added more fuel to red-hot grain and oilseed markets. The information about current and future corn markets has significant implications for cattle markets.
Drought conditions loom as the grazing season begins across the Central Plains. The latest Drought Monitor shows 43% of the U.S. is experiencing some degree of drought, compared with just 24% last year at this time.
Fed cattle prices have not put together any sort of spring rally with cash markets trading in a narrow range for several weeks, but there is considerable optimism beginning in the second quarter of the year.
U.S. beef exports are expected to increase modestly in 2021 to reach the second highest level behind the 2018 export record. A key to export growth includes continued growth in the China/Hong Kong market.