US – Cattle futures were higher yesterday as market participants were reassured by the response of a number of key trading partners who affirmed the new case of BSE will not affect beef trade, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.
Also coverage of the issue in the media was restrained and devoid of sensationalism. As the LFTB issue showed, how the media approaches an issue has an significant impact on the consumer response.
We can only hope that the popular press opts for facts rather than sensationalism and, in this case, it appears the former have prevailed. Also positive for the cattle market is the sharp turnaround in the price of the beef cutout, with the choice beef cutout closing last night at $190.5/ cwt., $13.8/cwt. or 8% higher than just two weeks ago.
The higher prices have in part come from packers cutting back on slaughter but also because the negative effect of the LFTB stories seems to be waning. One sign of that is the recovery in the price of fat beef trim, which is now trading in the mid 80c/lb. compared to about 50 c/lb (or even less) in early April.