Cattle and wholesale beef prices are in uncharted, record territory as tight supplies are squeezing the market and propelling prices skyward. Speaking to members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Randy Blach with Cattlefax, pointed especially to cow and heifer prices, saying they are like a double edged sword. High prices are great when you get that check for those animals. However, those high prices make it harder for producers to look forward and be willing participants in rebuilding their cattle herd.
Blach said the weak U.S. dollar has an impact in two directions. Australia and New Zealand producers are not selling as much to the United States because the weak dollar means they are effectively receiving less for their animals and beef if they sell into the U.S. market. Their beef is more valuable going into other countries. But, the cheaper dollar means strong U.S. beef export sales. In 2010 exports were up 19% over one year earlier. Year to date export sales are up about 40%.