Extreme volatility in livestock markets is raising red flags across the country, leading the American Farm Bureau to urge the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to leave no stone unturned as they monitor and analyze market activity.
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall applauds Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for expanding USDA’s investigation into market activity surrounding the Holcomb fire to include the volatility and disparities surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
“The level of frustration with market volatility among livestock producers has never been higher,” said Duvall. “I applaud Secretary Perdue for his commitment to expand USDA’s investigation. It won’t bring back lost income for producers, but it will help to restore confidence in our pricing system.”
Duvall spoke this week with both Secretary Sonny Perdue and CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert about the rising concern and frustration among livestock producers. Duvall followed up with a letter to Chairman Tarbert.
The letter states, “We believe an intense examination of the volatility in cash and futures markets for beef, pork and dairy is needed to determine if any market manipulations have occurred to the financial detriment of farmers and ranchers… the disparity between the farm-level prices that producers receive and wholesale prices is alarming. The price disparity and volatility is critically frustrating for livestock producers who have seen the prices for what they raise falling off a cliff while store shelves and milk coolers across the country were less than fully stocked and demand at food banks outpaces supplies.
We cannot afford to lose confidence in the integrity of the futures market nor the price discovery efforts in cash markets, on top of the many other market disruptions and stresses farmers and ranchers are facing.”
The full letter to Chairman Tarbert can be found here.