Whether we’re talking calving or barbecuing, it’s not ideal when temperatures are 20 degrees below their seasonal normal.

The delayed onset of spring is not doing ranchers any favours, with calves hitting the ground in difficult conditions this spring (if we can call it that).

At the same time, with large cattle supplies hitting the market in the second quarter of 2018 and heavy pork supplies expected in fall, there’s a lot of meat to chew through.

“It’s not exactly grilling type season and we need demand on our side,” notes Anne Wasko of Gateway Livestock in this latest Beef Market Update with Shaun Haney.

Anne and Shaun

It was another volatile week in the cattle market, with June live cattle futures in Chicago covering an 8 dollar range before ending the week at $102.05, down only 55 cents from Monday’s open.

There was also plenty of mainstream news potentially keeping people in the cattle business up at night, with escalating tariff talks between the U.S. and China. Wasko notes it’s impossible to separate beef and pork markets, and U.S. pork exports are on China’s tariff list.

“This has certainly been a difficult few weeks, but even this past week in terms of how this market has moved lower with all this uncertainty about trade and the impacts between cattle, beef, China, NAFTA and all the rest of it,” notes Wasko.

Listen to Anne and Shaun discuss the impact of cold weather, looming supplies, and the U.S.-China tariff threats, here:

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