Coronavirus has affected many markets

Starting Monday morning the news of significant rise in coronavirus cases outside of China caused concerns about a potential economic fallout from the outbreak.

Cattle futures early Monday were down the limit with the Dow Jones falling 900 points. It is reported that many investors remain complacent about the far-reaching impact of this coronavirus but some big moves on the stock market may get their attention. As a cattleman it is simply tiring but probably tiring for a lot of other businesses too.

Our grazing cattle prices were very strong for past two weeks. I’m not sure how much of that will weaken and will also depend on the carry through of sellout in the futures. It seems to me a lot of these grazing cattle are moving a few weeks earlier than normal. But most cattlemen in my area are feeding them every bite they are eating so with prices being good they probably decided it was time to sell.

I did talk this morning to a hamburger chain that said he would be happy to visit about an investment in a packinghouse with three other grocery chains. He was in the process of an investment so he could service all his stores with fresh ground beef and not frozen.

I’m not here to make light of the problem in China but it was brought to my attention that in the past 135 days in the United States there have been between 16,000 to 41,000 deaths from the flu. The U.S. has 300 million people and China has 1.43 billion people, or five times as many. The global death toll from the Coronavirus is slightly above 2,700 people. And even on the lowest figure we have had over 3,500 die a month from the flu. I was told the Coronavirus is a strain of the flu. I have faith they will get a handle on it.

I have to tease my workers or they think I am mad at them. One seller called and said, “Be sure to get a good count when they unload.” So I texted the worker and told them. They sarcastically kidding said, “Did you say leave nine on the truck?” Then I said, “Jerry looks too thin that is compared to the rest of you workers. He must be chronic.” I thought I would beat them to that sarcastic remark.

The Woodward Livestock Auction vet store starting Feb. 29 will be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. They have a sign out front of that business for sale days that says vet store customer parking only. Also, it says all violators will be vaccinated.

Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Slapout, Oklahoma.