In a normal year, there is considerable volatility in the U.S. beef market.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but a normal year, bringing another dynamic into an already complex arena, said David Anderson, a professor and extension economist.
Anderson will address the beef market during a session at the South Texas Farm and Ranch Show and will discuss the range of different factors that influence the market. Although Anderson's discussion won't focus solely on the pandemic's impact on the market, he said he will address the pandemic's rippling effect on beef consumption and demand.
Overall, cattle numbers are declining cyclically nationwide.
"We've seen the lowest cattle prices of this cattle cycle," Anderson said. "And as we look towards the future, my expectation is for declining beef production and higher prices for ranchers."
Anderson's discussion would be useful for anyone in the cattle or beef market, he said, and will cover where the market is today as well as major factors in the cattle market that ranchers should be thinking about.
His session will close with his forecasts for cattle prices over the next two years, he said.
In his discussion of trends in the demand and consumption of beef, Anderson will touch on the pandemic's impact on restaurants and how their early closures affected a significant part of the chain.