About 200 cattle ranchers were in Billings, Montana, last weekend to take part in the U.S. Cattlemen‘s Convention regarding the challenges plaguing the industry. The industry is beset by a price collapse that began in 2015. Politico’s Morning Ag Report says Jess Peterson is the group’s Vice President, who said they’ll be re-doubling their efforts to bring about changes to beef price reporting. Two speakers in the main panel raised serious concerns about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and meat packers. Tennesse-based commodity trader Dow McVean said the CME rigs the futures contracts to benefit large investors at the expense of cattle producers. A markets expert and lobbyist for the alternative stock exchange IEX said packers are too powerful and could be, “trading against you in the marketplace. The North American Meat Institute represents meat packers and said the accusation are wildly inaccurate, saying time and time again the markets have been examined and the packers have never been found guilty of price manipulation. A top CME official recently told the Wall Street Journal that “Every aspect of the cattle futures contract is under review to see if there’s a way to redesign it to be more of an effective risk-management tool.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.