December 29, 2015


US cattle transportations affected by December's winter storm


Transportations of cattle in some parts of the US Plains were delayed by a serious winter storm in the region, Reuters reported.


The animals are bound for beef packing facilities in the country. 


However, due to the weather, cattle and wholesale beef prices are kept from further decline resulting from adequate supplies of meat and heavyweight animals. A huge area within the Plains, including cattle territories of the Texas / Oklahoma panhandle, had been hit by several inches of rain, snow and ice.


The adverse weather upsets feedlot performance, said Jim Robb, director of the Colorado-based Livestock Marketing Information Center. In addition, cattle weights were observed to have fell before the storm - which is named 'Goliath' - came, according to USDA data.


Goliath will "continue to trim weights closer to a year ago," Robb added.


Tyson Foods prepared for the storm by operating one of its facilities on December 26, Saturday, in an effort to stay ahead of potential production delays. The company expects that some freight with finished products may "move a little slower than normal" as it plans to fill customer orders, said Tyson spokesman, Worth Sparkman.


Cargill Foods, on the other hand, is confident that its operations will not be affected by the storm.


In the meantime, official estimates on December 28 anticipated a drop of 21,000 head in daily cattle slaughter from last week, at 90,000 head this week.


The figure took into account the current weather as well as rising cattle and beef prices.

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