After experiencing the market trend upward seemingly every week of 2014, cattle producers should be prepared for a little more normal market pattern in 2015. With signs of expansion, it is likely the cowherd has stabilized numbers and will make an effort to climb the cow herd inventory.
The climb will not be fast. A heifer retained in 2014 will not produce her first calf until the spring of 2016. Those additional calves are another 6 months to 1 year away from contributing to feedlot inventory.
Simple fact is 2014 was a banner year and one that will likely go down in history for the uptrend in prices. Prices look to remain stable for the short term at elevated levels due to limited supply. Producers focusing on controlling costs will again see good profits from the cow/calf enterprise in 2015. Cattle feeders will have small margins due to the elevated prices paid for feeders in 2014 and the current year.
For a more in depth cattle market analysis click on "Beef industry dancing to a different drummer this year."