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Beef Market Update: Futures market watches closely as Texas continues to fight through cold

By: RealAgriculture Market Team

February 19, 2021

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If you’ve been paying attention to any form of media lately, chances are you’ve seen what is happening down in Texas with the weather. Pictures of burst pipes, a lack of heating, and all things frozen have been circulating across social media.

Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange says she’s been following stories, and it’s not just people suffering: it’s the livestock, too. From a market perspective, Wasko says we’ve seen a big setback in terms of processing plants being able to operate because of a lack of power and water.

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“So far — up to today — we’ve lost about 75,000 head from the previous week. Part of it was the President’s Day holiday Monday, but it’s still running well back. So we’ve got some ground to make up in terms of that.”

Wasko also notes that the futures market is watching this closely, as they are aware this is going to back some cattle up. The result? Wasko says they’ve peeled off some money this week.

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“On the flip side, when you aren’t harvesting as much cattle, that means our beef production is going to be lower,” she says. “The choice cutout has taken off again. Which is completely against the trend that you’d normally see in February. So we were up to $239 last night on the choice cutout. That’s a $6 gain from last week. If you are keeping track from a year ago — probably closer to $30 higher.”

Check out the full conversation between Anne Wasko and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney, below:

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