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The Midwest Cattleman · October 22, 2020 · P3

                   October 22, 2020   Volume 26   No. 10

                CATTLE SLAUGHTER DYNAMICS                                         CATTLE EXPORTS TO MEXICO SURGE
         By Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing  By David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife
                                                                                                      Extension Service
         Cattle slaughter for the year-to-date through the week ending        Imports of feeder cattle from Mexico usually are reported with
      September 26, 2020, was down 3.6% year-over-year.  This includes  interest because ranchers and feeders in the U.S. import more
      a 4.2% decrease in steer and heifer slaughter; a 1.2% decrease  than 1 million head per year, on average. The U.S. also exports
      in total cow slaughter; and a 3.7% decrease in bull slaughter so  cattle to Mexico, but in much smaller numbers. In recent weeks
      far this year.  Varying slaughter patterns across different cattle  cattle exports have surged to the highest levels in several years.
      classes make it diffi-                                                  Weekly cattle exports to Mexico are reported for three cate-
      cult to project where                                                 gories: slaughter cattle, breeding males, and breeding females.
      slaughter will end                                                    Exports of bulls and cows for breeding have averaged about
      up as the year clos-                                                                                           45 head per week this
      es out.                                                                                                        year. That is just a touch
         The biggest com-                                                                                            slower  than  last  year’s
      ponent     of   cattle                                                                                         49 head per week.
      slaughter is steer                                                                                                The         interesting
      slaughter,      which                                                                                          changes are in slaughter
      is down 4.3% year-                                                                                             cattle  shipments. After
      over-year    through                                                                                           exporting  0  head  this
      late      September.                                                                                           year,  240  were  shipped
      Through March, prior to COVID-19 impacts, steer slaughter was                                                  the week ending July
      up 5.1% year-over-year.  By the end of May, the cumulative steer                                               11th. That has increased
                                                      continued on page 15 to  1,271 head for the week ending September 5th. Only 329
                                                                            slaughter cattle were shipped to Mexico in all of 2019. It’s also
      MIGHT THE ELECTION AFFECT MEAT DEMAND?                                the largest weekly exports since December 2002. The last con-
                                By Greg Henderson                           sistent exports occurred in early 2018.
                                                                              Several trends suggest the opportunity for exports to contin-
         Could a change in administration affect America’s meat con-        ue. The growth in Mexico’s cat-
      sumption? Purdue University economist Jayson Lusk says it’s           tle  packing  industry  indicates
      possible. Speaking with AgriTalk host Tyne Morgan, Lusk said          that there is some packing ca-
      researchers are noticing more partisan divide in terms of meat        pacity available. Continued evo-
      demand.                                                               lution in U.S. beef production
                                                       “That’s    particu-  rewarding USDA quality grade
                                                    larly true for highly   and some grids excluding breeds
                                                    educated, more lib-     suggests an opportunity to ex-
                                                    eral consumers who      port Brahma fed cattle. Prices and exchange rates will play a
                                                    show weaker meat        role as well.
                                                    demand compared           In the late 1990s and early 2000s significant weekly ship-
                                                    to more conservative    ments occurred.  Weekly shipments ranged from about 1,000
                                                    consumers,”      Lusk   head to 3,500 head. Slaughter cattle exports had declined sub-
                                                    said. “That gap has     stantially well before late December 2003 when the Canadian
                                                      continued on page 10 cow in Washington was found with BSE. High U.S. fed cattle
                                                                            prices in 2003 likely depressed exports to Mexico (fed cattle pric-
                                                                            es set a record high in the fourth quarter of 2003 that was not
          LEGISLATION TO PROTECT CALVES AND                                 surpassed until 2010).
                                                                              In the big scheme of things these are not large numbers. But
                      LAMBS FROM VULTURES                                   the opportunity to export some slaughter cattle is likely an im-
         The U.S. House of Representatives                                  portant outlet for some South Texas feeders.
      passed  America’s Conservation En-
      hancement (ACE)  Act recently by a
      voice vote, effectively sending another
      piece of bipartisan conservation leg-                                                                Coming Sales-30
      islation to President Donald Trump’s                                                                 Life is Simple-5
      desk to be signed.                                                                                   Market Report-8
         The National Cattlemen’s Beef
      Association (NCBA) and the Public                                                                    Agribusiness
      Lands Council (PLC) said the bipar-                                                                  Directory-28
      tisan legislation will protect livestock
                          continued on page 10
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