Cash Live Cattle Market (LC-099)
Cattle have roamed the earth for thousands of years, and “modern” cattle raising can be traced back at least 8,500 years ago in Europe and the Middle East. Found all over the world, cattle are used for milk, leather, meat and labor, and have been revered throughout history in art, the zodiac and in various religions. In the U.S., cattle were brought over by European settlers.
Originally imported into the U.S. in 1623, cattle breeds have been introduced continuously in order to improve the cattle industry. With the ultimate goal of finding cattle that matured faster, produced more milk and provided a better quality of leather, the majority of cattle in the U.S. are the result of various cross breeding experiments.
In 1964, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) introduced the first futures contract on a live animal, thereby allowing meat buyers and suppliers to diminish their exposure to the seasonal risk that live cattle trading creates.
Calves require a nine-month gestation period, and typically weigh between 55 and 100 pounds at birth. They can grow to as much as 1,900 pounds, with a natural lifespan of approximately 15 years.
The world has about 1.3 billion head of cattle. India has 400 million head of cattle, Brazil and Chinashare a combined 300 million head of cattle, Africa has about 200 million head of cattle and the U.S.has 100 million head. Of these five nations, the U.S. produces 25% of the world’s beef, which is a tremendous feat considering that the country only represents 10% of the world’s cattle.
The cattle industry has yet to be fully tapped. The fact that the U.S. represents one-quarter of the world’s beef production with only 10% of its inventory leaves the field wide open for competitors.China has yet to tap its resources. Brazil, along with its neighboring countries, was able to expand its beef industry when Japan banned U.S. cattle. Needless to say, the cattle industry has not yet reached its full potential.