WASHINGTON (May 12, 2016) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) called on Congress to investigate the current state of the livestock industry. Following the largest loss of equity in the history of the U.S. cattle industry, USCA has requested an in-depth review at the possible components contributing to ongoing market volatility.
USCA has requested U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow to convene a hearing focused on the contributing factors to the market collapse and its current state, including: algorithmic and anti-competitive buying practices, consumer confusion, ongoing block of funding for a final GIPSA rule, and additional industry concerns.
USCA President Danni Beer stated, “2015 saw record-breaking prices, followed by a swift and significant collapse which we are still experiencing today. The volatility of the market has created unintended consequences for U.S. cattle producers, and one in need of immediate review. The livestock industry is historically a fluctuating marketplace, dependent on domestic and international policies, consumer trends and fiscal realities. However, the radical fluctuations experienced in less than a 12 month span have raised concern by those across the industry.”
“Responsible policies guiding our product are essential for the market to operate at an optimal level. The continued and increased use of algorithmic trading, coupled with anti-competitive buying practices and now, a block of funding for a final GIPSA rule, have placed U.S. cattle producers at a severe disadvantage. The additional loss of origin information and subsequent consumer confusion in the marketplace, along with additional industry concerns on the horizon have created a highly volatile market for producers.”
“The countryside has brought their concerns before Congress. In order to once again establish and maintain a viable market, USCA has requested the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry to immediately convene a hearing focused on the multiple factors resulting in the current state of the industry. USCA looks forward to working with the Senate Committee, Chairman and Ranking Member, in addressing the issues at hand and reestablishing confidence and transparency in the U.S. livestock market.”