Liquidation and herd building dot the beef market headlines. Cattle profitability is spurring optimism as tight beef supplies and higher prices become more certain. However, it’s important for producers to consider factors outside of supply and demand.

Feed prices will remain high, despite a dip in corn prices. Fed and feeder steers also bring different values. Fed steer prices for January this year averaged $156.30/cwt, a whopping 40% higher than just two years ago. But feeder steer prices tell a different story. January 2021 to this year saw a 30% run-up, compared to a 75% increase between January 2013 and November 2014.

Between feed prices and market movers, there are many differences in this cattle cycle compared to the last one. Read more on cattle profitability here.