Livestock, Poultry and Grain General Market News Terms

I. Receipts/Supply/Offerings

These terms may be used to indicate the actual or estimated deliveries of the particular item being reported. "Total receipts" refer to all animals or animal products unloaded for whatever purpose. "Receipts" indicate the number of the particular item available for sale on a particular day at each market regardless of whether it is received at the market that day. Generally, the "receipts" include holdovers from previously counted or estimated livestock. Acceptable terms to be used in reference to the supply/offerings are: "light," "moderate," and "heavy."

II. Demand

Demand may be described as "very good," "good," "moderate," "light," or "very light" in relation to what is considered typical or normal demand at each market or marketing area for the day or period, allowing for seasonal changes. In evaluating demand, the reporter will bear in mind that a good demand might exist for certain grades, weights, or classes, while at the same time, others are in light demand. A reporter should be currently informed as to the nature of demand as indicated by the estimated proportions sold to local packers, order buyers, feeder dealers, etc. Indicated shifts in the needs of the various buying interests could well be a forewarning of a changing market. Demand should not be confused with "market activity." An active trade at firm to higher prices for light supplies does not necessarily imply a better demand than existed the previous day for larger supplies. Neither does a slow trade at weak-to-lower prices on heavy supplies mean a light demand, since the price level may be influenced by expansion of the supply rather than by contraction of demand.

III. Trade Activity

Information will be obtained on the relative rapidity or slowness with which sales are being made, and the reporter also should observe and comment on any material changes in the pace of trading as the trade progresses through the day. However, it is not necessary to mention trade activity in all reports unless there is a change from the normal activity at the market. Aggressiveness of buyers in seeking supplies, attitude of sellers toward disposing or holding their supplies, and other signposts can indicate what the activity will be. Such terms as "active," "moderate," "slow," and "inactive," usually are used to indicate the degree of action in relation to the normal activity of a given market or marketing area. Trade activity should be given before price trends. However, in some instances such as an active market at .50-1.00 lower prices, it is equally factual and more understandable to the producer to write the report, ".50 1.00 lower but active at the decline." Trading activity is hard to define in direct and auction reporting areas and is often confused with demand.

IV. Trends

Trends should describe the difference in the present general price level in relation to the last market day when a sufficient volume was available for a comparison. Trends will be based on bulk prices for the most part. The quality of the livestock should be taken into consideration when establishing trends. Formulating a trend based on the comparison of the top and bottom quotations does not necessarily depict the true market. Sales outside the normal range usually have little influence on the trend. Daily trends will be made on each class represented but may be grouped together when they are the same. During periods of unusual circumstances, a clearer picture can often be presented, particularly on Monday, by adding a comparison of prices for a week ago. It is generally not necessary to use less than a 25 cent fluctuation. A "25 50 cents higher" trend is more easily interpreted than "35 cents higher," and "firm to 25 cents higher" is more easily interpreted than "10 25 cents higher." Some appropriate terms for use in describing price trends are "steady," "firm," and "weak" when no measurable amount of advance or decline has occurred. When the terms "higher" or "lower" are used, the specific amount of the advance or decline should be shown, such as 25 cents higher, 25 50 cents lower, etc. The amounts so reported usually will be approximately the same as the increase or decrease recorded in the detailed quotations from 1 day or period to the next. Weekly trends will be compared with the closing prices of the previous week regardless of the fluctuations during the week. Comments on the fluctuations may be useful if the trend was uneven. Occasionally, comments on long range price comparisons in a weekly summary may provide a better understanding of the general situation. However, caution should be exercised so as not to confuse commentators scanning our reports during a broadcast.

V. Prices and Values

Care will be exercised in using the terms "price" and "value." The "prices" at which livestock or livestock products are sold are not necessarily their "value." The terms are not synonymous and must not be used interchangeably.

VI. Market News Terminology

Market - A term with several meanings.

  •  A geographic location where a commodity is traded. 
  • The price, or price level, at which a commodity is traded. 
  • (Verb) - To sell.

Market Activity - The pace at which sales are being made.

  • Active - Available supplies (offerings) are readily clearing the market. 
  • Moderate - Available supplies (offerings) are clearing the market at a reasonable rate. 
  • Slow - Available supplies (offerings) are not readily clearing the market. 
  • Inactive - Sales are intermittent with few buyers or sellers.

Price Trend - Refers to the direction that prices are moving in relation to trading in the previous reporting period(s).

  • Higher - When the majority of sales are at prices measurably higher than the previous trading session. 
  • Firm - Prices are tending higher, but not measurably so. 
  • Steady - Prices are unchanged from previous trading session. 
  • Weak - Prices are tending lower, but not measurably so. 
  • Lower - Prices for most sales are measurably lower than the previous session.

Supply/Offering - The quantity of a particular item available for current trading.

  • Heavy - Volume of supplies is above average for the market. 
  • Moderate - Volume of supplies is average for the market being reported. 
  • Light - Volume of supplies is below average for the market being reported.

Demand - The desire to possess a commodity coupled with the willingness and ability to pay.

  • Very Good - Offerings or supplies are rapidly absorbed.
  • Good - Firm confidence on the part of buyers that general market conditions are good.
  • Moderate - Average buyer interest and trading. 
  • Light - Demand is below average.
  • Very Light - Few buyers are interested in trading.

Mostly - The majority of sales or volume.

Undertone - Situation or sense of direction in an unsettled market.