All segments of the beef industry are contracting according to National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Andy Groseta, and the latest USDA Cattle on Feed report seems to support that conclusion.
"What we're basically looking at are the number of cattle on feed in the U.S. being down about 7% from a year ago," says USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam. "Placements were down about 11%, which is a fairly sharp decline."
Feed lot prices are lower and according to Groseta with grain prices up and fed cattle prices coming down, profits are also in decline.
"We've lost $3.1 billion worth of business," Groseta says. "In the last 11 consecutive months we've lost money in the cattle feeding business in the United States, and so it's taken a lot of equity out of our business."