“Bill,” began a message from our farm manager in Argentina, “we are in the wrong business.”
Yes, we are in the cattle business – in Argentina, no less. Cattle prices have risen only 1% this year. South of the Rio Plata, the cattle business is worse. Farmers have been getting rid of cattle so they can plant corn, soybeans and wheat. Result: cattle prices have fallen. Often, it’s hard to find anyone who will even take the cows away. Why? Because buyers can’t get them to market, since the grain farmers have blocked the roads into Buenos Aires.
That’s the nice thing about being a grain farmer, you have time on your hands. You can hang around a roadblock…or go give your congressman a fright. Not so with dairymen and cattlemen. They’ve got to stay near their animals.
Yesterday, apparently, the blockades in Argentina were lifted…but we doubt we’ll see much pick up in the beef market.
Markets and Money