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Just Your Stand Bull-Jan. 6, 2023

published: January 6th 2023
by: Michael Sturgess
source: Southern Livestock Standard

HELLO 2023!! Pardon my yelling, but there are numerous indicators that this year promises to be a better year. I mean, what was not to like? We had drought, double digit inflation, rising costs on just about everything… In addition, to these, I started off last year by fracturing my ankle on New Year’s Day.

            So, what lies on the horizon for 2023? For starters, the hope of better calf prices. We heard it often last fall. But what have we seen? On Monday (Jan. 2nd), 148 steers weighing 633 lbs. brought $187.11, or $1184.40/head at Oklahoma City. Steers under 800 lbs. were reported $4 higher than last week. In 2014, the price for 500-600 steers reached up to $260. Will we get there? Prices rose 41% in 2014 to get us there. That kind of increase would put us in rarified air. A 34-38% increase would put us pretty close to the 2014 highs.

            So, what about the drought? Forecasts from back in late November-early December had us staying in this drought until as late as June. However, most areas around the state have already seen more rain in November/December than what was predicted. Perhaps these are signs that the current La Niña episode is subsiding. And with the exception of one cold snap, most areas have experienced warmer than normal temperatures which has triggered growth in our cool season grasses. And the 10-day forecast for my San Antonio area just north of town has the coldest morning pegged at 43 degrees through the 12th of January. Mid-January is usually the time of year when we get a cold snap.

            Currently, it is difficult to get a handle on inflation. The current administration crows about fuel prices dropping from their highs last summer. Yet they forget that in November of 2021 the national gasoline average was $1.75. When compared to that current average of $3.23 as of Jan. 3rd—we still have a ways to go here. And who is to say of we have seen the bottom of the stock market? Until we get a handle on inflation, it will be difficult to predict.

            Yet still the overall picture has certainly improved from a year ago. So here is to your good health and good fortune for the coming year. May the new year be your best yet for you and yours. Happy New Year!

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