By Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com
ME cattle futures are consolidating today after making modest gains Monday bolstered by the highest fed cattle prices last week since July 4. Futures are content to let the cash side keep the razzle dazzle while they plod placidly along, one eye on outside markets and the other eye on the USDA boxed beef cutout value.
CBoxes printed higher yesterday and will be higher this week, next and likely the same until pre-Labor Day when a typical pause and pullback occurs for about 3 weeks in September before the real dynamic up in October and November. Choice boxes were at $250 around July 4th and last night posted at $238.52, a telling illustration that packer margins are barely positive and will widen only if boxes can quickly out gain cash cattle prices the next 3 weeks.
Indeed end users have adjusted to the low beef production this summer having made allowances and adjustments which seem to have kept beef demand spurts in check since June. Only the loin primal is premium to a year ago today. Continued heavy imports of lean trimmings throughout this summer, up 28% YTD, have more-than-effectively plugged the hole left by our small domestic non-fed kills and toppled beef 90s off of their $290 perch held for over a year. That in turn has cooled demand a little for various chuck and round fed cuts, those primals down 12% and 13% respectively from a year ago.
How Low Will Kills Go?
With August kills running in the 530k area without backing up cattle there is a great deal of discussion about just how low kills will be this fall and early winter. Fed cattle supplies for that period are thought by some to be so tight, that running minimum production schedules will be a challenge. If this turns out to be true, then end users may find themselves adapting to the smallest beef production in modern history yet again, well below USDA and many analysts’ predictions made earlier in 2015.
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Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.