The past couple of years have been challenging for the cattle industry across the nation. But one economist says he expects better days ahead.
Lance Zimmermann, beef industry research analyst with Rabobank, says going through the pandemic period of 2020, 2021 and even early 2022 the consumer, much like the cattle producer, was a victim of the supply chain.
“Today, with the recessionary pressures that exist, the U.S. consumer is much more cautious. They’ve pulled back their purse strings, they’re being more measured how they spend their dollar today.”
He said that’s translated into a consumer that’s migrated from food service to quick service.
When it comes to the future, he anticipates the current herd contraction nationwide will continue. But he noted while there are many headwinds the industry needs to work through over the next couple of years.
“But I do believe that the tighter cattle numbers and the liquidation that we went through since the 2019 highs, we’ve got a lot of cattle producers who could enjoy some prosperity, at a level we haven’t seen for at least three years, certainly for many we haven’t seen in five years or more. And so, I think that it’s an exciting time, when you look at the global markets as well, they’re going to offer a lot of opportunity down the road for us. Our consumer basis is pretty mature. So, the best opportunity to grow our consumer base is going to be outside of the United States, and that’s going to have to continue to be a focus for us going forward.”