Greatest bull market in the U.S. economy is the beef business

Troy Marshall

December 18, 2014

2 Min Read
Greatest bull market in the U.S. economy is the beef business

It’s no surprise that bull prices have kept pace with the incredible cattle prices we have seen in 2014. The improved weather conditions of this year in many parts of the country, as well as increased expansion, and even tax incentives, have all contributed to the higher bull prices.

Using the sales data submitted to the American Angus Association (AAA), registered bulls so far in this fiscal year have averaged $5,982, up considerably from the previous year’s average of $4,425. What makes that data especially impressive is that the $1,500 increase has been earned on a larger number of bulls.

Meanwhile, registered females are up even more dramatically. They have averaged $6,202, a huge jump from last year’s figure of $3,176.

Percentage-wise, bull prices are still trailing calf prices. However, from a sheer dollar standpoint, the increase in the purebred market has been larger than any class of cattle. Year-to-date prices on the animals reported to the AAA shows an average of $5,694 compared to $3,755 a year ago. That’s just shy of a $2,000 increase per head. 

While the futures market and cash market have stumbled a little with the typical end-of-year slump, expectations have not. Everyone by now has heard of the various sets of commercial females that have traded at levels that simply are unprecedented. While there have been commercial bred females trading in the $4,000 range or higher, those are still outliers in a significant way. However, comparing year-to-year averages tells a pretty dramatic story. Almost any class of cattle is up 25% over last year, with the majority up 30-50%.  

With Russia’s economic woes growing and China’s economy slowing down, America – despite pretty disappointing growth – appears to be the place to invest once again. That should be a boon to our economy in the short term.  And the greatest bull market in the American economy is the beef business.

The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of and the Penton Agriculture Group.

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