October 21, 2014
Russia turning to India's water buffalo beef for lack of cattle beef
Plain told a market outlook conference last week that this year the average price of a fed cattle will probably be US$153 a hundredweight from last year's average of US$126 a hundredweight. "That's an increase of US$27 per hundredweight. On a 1,400-pound steer, that's big money", he said.
Plain said feeder cattle prices were also setting records, boosted by high prices at slaughter and cheap corn that dropped by more than US$2 per bushel.
"The weather has been very good, so the nation has a record corn crop, a record soybean crop and pasture conditions far better than average. So that means lower feed cost and makes bottom-line numbers very attractive for the cattle business", he said.
The trend of rising beef prices is also true in the global market. Robert Forster, a UK-based journalist who produces the Beef Industry Newsletter, avers that "world prices are rising because global production has faltered at the same time as demand has increased."
"The evidence is everywhere. Russia cannot produce sufficient beef of its own and is being forced to look at water buffalo beef from India because it is struggling to find beef in South America after embargoing product from Australia, the EU, and the US on August 7.
"Across North America retail prices are soaring on the back of cattle scarcity to such an extent that journalists are saying the market is 'running away' and retail shelves are "empty"," he said.