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NDSU Economist: Recovery Is Key to Cattle Prices

The economic recovery is key to 2009 cattle prices, says Tim Petry, NDSU Extension livestock marketing economist.

"The new administration and Congress are expected to address the situation aggressively, so we hope a recovery can begin by midyear," he says.

But volatility in cattle prices likely will continue in 2009, according to Petry.

"Tightening beef, poultry and pork supplies will be supportive to cattle prices, but demand will continue to be the main driver of prices," he says.

Corn prices will continue be a major a uncertainty in feeder cattle and calf prices. As spring approaches and corn versus soybean planting intentions surface, coupled with weather conditions, corn prices likely will be volatile, he says.

"If a modest economic recovery occurs, the prices of all classes of cattle could be higher in the fourth quarter of 2009 than in 2008. With a continued recovery, 2010 may be shaping up to be a very good year for cattle prices."

Source: NDSU Extension Communications

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