Local beef sales steady, prices higher

Chicken and pork production starting to catch up in pandemic

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From Staff Reports

Chicken and pork producers have been affected by the pandemic, but just like in the beef market, recoveries are underway in Canadian County, the manager of an El Reno livestock auction reports.

Chicken and pork will begin to give beef more run for the money, as supplies are replenished in stores nationwide, said Bill Barnhart, general manager at OKC West Livestock Auction in El Reno.

The beef market at the auction west of Yukon, 7200 E State Highway 66, has continued to show improvement in recent weeks.

General Manager Bill Barnhart reports fewer cattle sold in auctions at the El Reno location Thursday, but prices have improved.

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“Chicken and pork, although much more vertically integrated than the beef industry, have also suffered through the pandemic. They are a cheaper source of protein and will provide stiff competition for the remainder of the year,” Barnhart reported.

There were 6,000 head sold during the weekly cattle auctions. The previous week was 7,500 head. Sales slumped to 3,000 head in March as the pandemic kicked in.

“Buyers pushed the market higher again this week on most all classes despite lackluster fat cattle trade and a quiet futures market,” Barnhart reports.

Feeder cattle sold this week at prices $2-$5 higher per pound and calves steady to $2 higher, Barnhart said.

“The pipeline has returned to normal and shelves have been restocked,” Barnhart said.
Retailers have begun to feature product again at reasonable prices, he said.

“Good news for producers as we have lots of product to move through the rest of the year,” Barnhart said.