Economic and marketing functions in the livestock and meat trade at Portland, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4t64gq31q

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  • The purpose of this study is to bring together some data relating to the general structure of the Portland livestock and meat trade and to describe some phases of the functional process of concentration and dispersion in physical terms as well as treat with some factors significant to the marketing picture. The importance of the geographical location of the transportation routes has been of considerable significance in the developemnt of the Portland market as an outlet for the livestock production of eastern Oregon and southern Idaho. The volume of livestock reaching the market has not kept pace with the growth of human population of the area. There has been evident some increase of 'direct' livestock receipts as well as an increase of imports of cured meats. Complete data on this export-import balance of dressed meats are lacking but it would appear that this trade will be of greater significance in the future than in the past. Country killed meats are not as important a factor in the market now as at the time of an earlier study carried out by the Oregon State College Experiment Station in 1934. However country killed veal still accounts for about fifty percent of the veal supply on the market. This is a result of the peculiar situation of the market both in relation to dairy production areas and with respect to legal restrictions which permit the sale of this product on the market. In a random survey of seventeen cities scattered throughout the United States, it was found that the majority of them have meat inspection laws which do not permit the sale of this type of product. Seasonal variation of receipts of various kinds of livestock indicate that this phenomenon is most apparent in the case of sheep and lambs, less so in calves and hogs, and least of all for cattle. Wartime conditions created a substantial increase in the magnitude of the seasonal variation of cattle receipts at the market. From the meat packers' point of view this is an undesirable feature as it complicates the attainment of an optimum combination of their resources in the internal management of their plants. There is an apparent excess of plant capacity over the needs of the market area which has led to a highly competitive situation in the meat trade. This characteristic is carried through to the well defined wholesale level and there are a great many wholesalers competing for the restaurant and retail trade. Frozen food lockers are increasing in number and importance and may be worthy of some more detailed study. Prices and price reporting of the market have been examined with two objectives in mind. First, a method whereby some simple indicator of market trend might be developed which would accurately record market movements. Second, a comparison of live and dressed prices to illustrate such relationships as may exist. It is apparent that the first objective is not to be attained easily. Price relationships between live and dressed meats do appear to be reasonably consistent for calves, lambs and hogs. Further work on these relationships would be desirable as more adequate data are accumulated.
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