Local markets are an interesting subject for discussion. As a rule, the more scarce the commodity is the higher the prices to the consumers it will be. In the case of beef and because high prices causes people to consume less meat, the relationship between high prices and low consumption is true. As I was going thru some USDA studies where it is reflected this to be true, I could not help but notice the variation between prices at any given time. As I was talking to a local producer last Wednesday during the NETBIO sale, we talked about the opportunity of producers to get cattle at a good price and the great choices that those producers have to profit from those opportunities with proper marketing. Dr. Jason Banta, Beef Specialist in Overton Texas with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension made the following graphs:
As you can see on these graphs, the price of beef has the tendency to drop as time goes by (in years) but also has the tendency to increase or decrease month to month during a particular year. This will cause particular market prices to increase or decrease in a different way every month on each location even when overall the price of beef is decreasing. Without an overall understanding of the general trend in prices it will be very hard to understand a low price trend when monthly prices are higher than previous or future ones. Producers should use these market variations to fit their particular production systems according to their availability of forage or resources to make the best out of their own cattle sales. Also, new ranchers or people interested in buying cattle for the first time must understand monthly market variations to buy or sale their cattle at the best time.
For more information on this or any other agricultural topic please contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443or email me at [email protected].