Packing plant shutdowns add more volatility to markets


Packing plant shutdowns add more volatility to markets

Oklahoma State University livestock economist Derrell Peel says with more packing plants closing down due to coronavirus concerns there is worry it could impact the beef supply chain.  “We’re moving into seasonally higher slaughter rates,” he says.  “We have moved cattle very well in recent weeks, so we probably have a little bit of slack there, but it would create a lot some real back-ups as far as marketing fed cattle.”

He tells Brownfield the temporary closings will likely create more volatility in the cattle market.  And right now, Peel says the best advice he has for producers is just to “hang on” as best they can.  “The concern about labor disruptions and plant capacity probably will pass here in the next few weeks – maybe as we move through the human health part of this,” he says. 

But longer-term?  Peel says markets won’t rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels anytime soon.  “But they could get past at least some of this scare of that’s out there right now of disruption and the volatility that that’s generating.”

AUDIO: Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University

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