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Dunford says around 800,000 cattle to Us in 2005

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SASH

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Grain World 05: No Rush Of Canadian Cattle Seen




WINNIPEG, MB, Mar 01, 2005 (Resource News International via COMTEX) -- There will be no rush of cattle being exported from Canada to the US on March 7, delegates at the Canadian Wheat Board sponsored Grain World conference heard on Tuesday.

Anne Dunford, an analyst with Canfax, a subsidiary of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association estimated that Canada at the most will have between 800,000 and 1.0 million head of cattle available to be exported to the US in 2005.

Of that amount, 600,000 to 700,000 head will be fed cattle while the other 200,000 to 300,000 will be feeders, she said.

A pending decision on the R-Calf challenge in the US on the reopening of the border to Canadian live cattle could still affect her projection, she said. A heading has been scheduled on Wednesday in Billings, Montana, to hear arguments from R-Calf who are trying to block the resumption of cattle trade with Canada.

No live cattle from Canada have been exported to the US since May of 2003, when an Alberta cow tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or the mad cow disease.

Prior to the discovery of BSE, Canadian live cattle exports to the US had been averaging 1.166 million head annually.

She based her estimate on Canada's market ready cattle supply hitting 5.26 million head in 2005, which includes 680,000 head of cattle carried over from calendar year 2004. Canada's domestic cattle slaughter needs in 2005 were pegged by Dunford in the 4.2 million to 4.6 million head range.

Statistics Canada pegged total cattle and calf inventory in Canada as of January 1, 2005 at 15.09 million head.

Dunford said it will take some time to work through the extra supply of cattle that were built up by the closure of the border and the inadequate slaughter capacity in Canada.

However, since the closure of the border, slaughter capacity in Canada has improved, which has resulted in some much overdue culling of some of the older cattle.

Slaughter capacity in Canada in 2003 stood at roughly 3.2 million head and had hit 4.0 million by 2004. Dunford said capacity was likely to increase another 18% in 2005 from the 2004 level and a further 4% by 2006.

Canadian beef production in 2005, meanwhile, was forecast by Dunford to rise 17% from the 2004 level to 3.7 billion pounds. Some of the beef was expected to be shipped to the US, but Mexico was also seen as a growing market for Canada's beef, she said.

Dunford said Canadian beef shipments to the US were likely to continue to decline in the years ahead as exporters look for alternative destinations as well as in view of the expansion cycle US cattle producers have started.

In regards to concerns about the lack of beef being exported from the US to Canada in a question and answer period, following her presentation, Dunford pointed out that US beef is not banned from Canada. However, she said US packers are reluctant to ship beef to Canada as the economics of doing so, do not work.

"Right now it is more profitable for US packers to send their beef products to other countries, where they can get a higher return," she said.
 

Denny

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will the boxed beef keep coming in also how many head would come in that way?Would they be added to the 800,000 head of live cattle.

In a box or on the hoof count them all.
 

Murgen

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will the boxed beef keep coming in also how many head would come in that way?Would they be added to the 800,000 head of live cattle.

I think we have reached our capacity for the short term for killing, so the live animals would only be in "addition" to the boxed beef, although we are sending record amounts of boxed beef to Mexico too. That will probably grow also!
 

Murgen

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oops, forgot to close the quotes, last paragraph is my comment.
 

Denny

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Murgen said:
will the boxed beef keep coming in also how many head would come in that way?Would they be added to the 800,000 head of live cattle.

I think we have reached our capacity for the short term for killing, so the live animals would only be in "addition" to the boxed beef, although we are sending record amounts of boxed beef to Mexico too. That will probably grow also!


Do you have that many cattle to fill your packing plants and export live cattle once the older cattle are all harvested?
Are you all expanding your cow herds at the present or planning to in the future?


Myself I think we will see world wide rising demand for ag products as the population keeps rising.Agriculture is changeing fast either you need to adapt or get left behind.

The r-calf members I know are the same people who still mow hay with a 7 ft mower and a b John Deere. Sure it works but it takes forever.They are afraid to change 6 months ago I thought R-CALF was a great deal now I think they are a Great liabilty.

I would much rather the border opens now instead of this fall give the markets time to stabilize.
 

Murgen

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I think we have put or eggs in one basket for too long. I think you'll see our slaughter capacity continue to rise and our exports to the US continue to decrease. We might as well be shipping the boxed beef to the offshore markets instead of having the US packing plants box it for us.

We will have just as many cattle as we had pre-BSE, we'll just be shipping them in boxes to a wider range of markets. Unfortunately this will mean That the US will lose some of their markets, unless export markets expand as expected (China for eg.)
 

Jason

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[/quote]


Do you have that many cattle to fill your packing plants and export live cattle once the older cattle are all harvested?
Are you all expanding your cow herds at the present or planning to in the future?


[/quote]

The short answer is no, not at present. The packers have been working short weeks because fats have been unavailable even for our own capacity.

However there are some cattle being held back that will be coming on soon, in addition the uncertianty of Mar 7 is playing up here as well. Producers are watching and waiting some thinking our prices will climb others thinking our prices will fall with the opening and surrounded theatrics.

Prices have fallen off on heavy cattle as there are not many speculators left.

Rumors has it that Lakeside found 150,000 head to buy so they can be assured of supply through this time frame no matter what happens. Most of these cattle no doubt won't be ready to harvest right away, but obviously some feeders are not willing or able to risk not getting them moved at the price offered.

Regardless uncertianty is not good for either side of the border.
 

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