R-CALF USA continues to press the Justice Department to deny the move by JBS S.A. to acquire Pilgrim's Pride Corporation. The organization believes economic harm would hit the U.S. cattle industry if Justice does not block the merger of the competing protein industries of chicken and beef.
If the deal is permitted by the Justice Department, R-CALF USA calculates that the 2008 Nebraska Direct Choice Steer price would decrease by $7.15 per hundredweight. And when the farm elasticity of demand for cattle is considered, the loss would be $89.38 to cattle feeders for each fed steer sold. R-CALF USA projects a resultant annual savings to the meat packing industry of more than $200 million.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says a loss of anywhere from $7.50 per head to $89.38 per head to the U.S. live cattle industry would have severe ramifications, particularly given the long-run lack of profitability faced by U.S. cattle feeders who have experienced 22 consecutive months of financial losses.