Ag Report: Beef prices may rise, ag equipment sales fall, whiskey retaliation

Posted at 9:06 AM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 13:22:11-04

You may start to see a rise in beef prices this week. Margins for United States beef processors soared to record highs after a fire at a Tysons Food Incorporated slaughterhouse closed down the facility in Holcomb, Kansas.

The facility was known to process about 6,000 cattle a day, making up about 5 percent of the U.S. beef produce. Margins for choice cuts of beef for wholesale buyers climbed ten percent last week and concerns continue to rise about a shortage of hamburger meat and steaks.

The White House is defending the president's commitment to U.S. farmers as many are now reportedly saying they are feeling the direct impact of the trade war.

American farmers showed their nervousness as a new report shows a decrease in agriculture equipment sales. The company John Deere is reporting earnings and sales that missed their forecasted revenue by 3 percent this year. Deere's CEO said in a statement that the results show "the high degree of uncertainty that continues to overshadow that agriculture sector." The Trump administration is expected to begin paying $14.5 billion to farmers hurt by the trade war by the end of this month.

U.S. whiskey exporters are struggling to recoup lost sales after shipments to Europe plummeted 21 percent in the last year.

According to a Reuters report, foreign governments subject to President Donald Trump's trade tariffs have targeted American distilleries in retaliation. The Distilled Spirits Council says that 63 percent of U.S. whiskey exports have faced retaliatory tariffs in the past. And with new tariffs under consideration, the industry now fears their product will once again become collateral damage. In the 12 months before the 2018 tariffs, the U.S. exported $757 million of rye and bourbon. The following year exports dropped to just under $600 million.