Steve Meyer

Paragon Economics Inc.

Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, founded in 2002 to provide expert economic analysis of agricultural markets and business decisions. He brings a wealth of experience in the livestock industry, having served as director of economics for the National Pork Producers Council (1993-2001), and held the same position for the National Pork Board from 2001 to October 2002. In that capacity, Steve provided economic counsel to producers and Pork Board staff and coordinated staff and consultants’ activities regarding meat industry production, price forecasts and the economic impact of pork production and processing. In addition, he administered NPPC programs dealing with marketing and pricing systems, structure, pork industry coordination and competitiveness. Previously, Steve served as a swine business specialist with Moorman Manufacturing Co., a sales representative with Dow Chemical and sales manager for an animal health and agricultural chemical distributor. In addition, he spent three years as an assistant professor in the agriculture economics department at the University of Missouri.

Market Observations Post-USDA Return

USDA is back up and running but, as can be seen from today’s North American Pork Industry and Competing Meats tables, it will be another week before we have the normal complement of supply and price data. Further, we may not get data for the two missing weeks at all. USDA has not been too clear on those items yet but should provide more details this week.

Hog Producers Feeling Effects of Government Shutdown

The federal government shutdown, of course, has nothing to do with our business, but will have more and more profound impacts each day it drags on. “You never know how much something means until it is gone” certainly applies to this situation. We criticize, nitpick and fume with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over its data, but when there is nothing to criticize, nitpick and fume over, we see just how valuable those data are.

Hog Slaughter Continues to Fall Short

Hog supply is still on everyone’s mind as weekly slaughter totals continue to run well below year-ago levels. I addressed this topic last week but I think it bears attention again this week.

Feed Costs Continue to Plague Producers’ Chances for Profits
Will this winter ever end? Many in the upper Midwest and eastern Cornbelt areas are asking that question as temperatures fall and snow continues to fly.
Keeping First Quarter Carcass Cutout Prices in Perspective
How deep is the trouble for the U.S. pork market? There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the past few weeks as cutout values dropped below $80.
COOL Controversy Far From Over
That huge THUD you heard coming from somewhere up north on Friday afternoon was the collective sound of a few thousand Canadian chins hitting the desktop, lap or floor upon seeing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule to fix mandatory country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL). To say that the proposed solution to this problem was not what our Canadian friends had in mind when they appealed the program to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a gross, gross understatement.
Word to the Wise – Cover Your Corn Needs
Unless you have already priced your primary feed ingredients for the remainder of this crop year, I fear that the roller coaster ride is far from over.
Joining 30 Million Diabetics was a Wake-up Call
Last summer I got a bit of a wake-up call when a health screening pointed out that my blood sugar level was far too high. In my experience, the medical profession allows no room for error on this one. I was dubbed diabetic, immediately, and got to learn more than I wanted to know about glucose, insulin, my pancreas, diabetic diet principals and intentionally poking holes in my fingers.
Year-End Recap Shows Pork Holding Its Own
The release of December export data last week completed the information needed to ascertain annual export performance and the annual year-on-year change in the demand for various meat proteins.
Feed Costs Down, Futures Follow
Friday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) from USDA contained enough good supply news for grains and soybeans to set those markets into a tailspin.
GDP Slips, but Meat and Poultry Poised for Slight Growth
The news on the demand front was not good last week, but the gross domestic product (GDP) data released by the Commerce Department likely appeared more negative than it actually was.
Japan Eases Beef Restrictions, Could Prop Up Pork Prices
Japan’s health minister announced this morning that the restriction on beef imports from the United States would be relaxed beginning on Friday, Feb. 1, to allow importation of product from cattle up to 30 months of age.
Wholesale Pork Cuts Price Reporting Readied for Real Time
We are off and running with mandatory price reporting (MPR) for wholesale pork cuts!
Corn and soybeans could be hard to find this summer.
Grains Stocks Report Dims Profit Prospects for Hogs
USDA released its final estimates for the 2012 corn and soybean crops on Friday. They, combined with the Dec.1 Grains Stocks report, were bullish indeed.
Pork Producers’ A-List Questions for 2013
Happy New Year! Regardless of the challenges that loom on the horizon, in the New Year we all see a clean slate upon which much will be written. More important, most feel some degree of control and power over the letters that will be inscribed over the next 12 months.
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