Livestock and crop markets are in turmoil due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic even as U.S. shoppers cleared out grocery store shelves last week in a surge of panic buying.
Hog and cattle futures have plunged more than 20% since mid-January when COVID-19 was confirmed in China. Corn and soybean prices fared slightly better, falling 13% to 14% in the same time frame.
“We’re not done yet,” warned Chad Hart, Iowa State University crop markets specialist. Prices could fall even more if demand suffers due to domestic quarantines or shipping restrictions imposed by trading partners, he said.
The April live cattle futures contract, which began the year trading above $125 per hundredweight, fell below $92 last week. April lean hogs traded below $54 per...