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ForwardTrade, an out-front marketplace for boxed beef trading, launched an electronic trading platform to reduce forward risk in today’s volatile beef market and provide an efficient, transparent trading system for beef processors and buyers to build objectively priced out-front positions with the goal of creating a more stable and competitive marketplace.
“Never before has the technology existed to deliver dynamically generated, objective prices on physical offers of beef out-front,” said Mike Neal, CEO of Memphis, Tenn.-based ForwardTrade. “The ForwardTrade platform finally gives buyers and sellers a more accurate, responsive price to reduce risk on forward transactions.”
According to ForwardTrade, Buyers and sellers in the beef industry have long relied on out-front sales for risk management and planning. However, with USDA estimating beef supplies shrinking to levels not seen in 60 years and price volatility at an all-time high, forward sales have fallen to new lows, leaving buyers and sellers exposed to unpredictable spot market prices.
The launch of ForwardTrade comes at a time of increasing uncertainty in the beef industry. Shrinking cattle herds are putting increased pressure on beef processors, while record high beef prices and declining consumption are putting pressure on retailers and foodservice operators as they try to profitably manage protein categories.
“ForwardTrade gives buyers and sellers the confidence to trade out-front again,” said Neal. “It eliminates the guesswork in out-front pricing, reducing risk through a simple, fast and efficient trading platform."
Processors and buyers interact through the ForwardTrade platform’s Dynamic Price Horizon interface that provides users with a 52-week view of the direction and depth of the market. The dynamic prices, generated with industry-leading ratio forecasts and live cattle prices, provide an online pivot point where either the buyer or seller can initiate a trade. Boxed beef products for specific shipment dates by processors are available for immediate purchase at the dynamic price. Similarly, buyers can create custom bids for immediate consideration by processors to lock in their forward volume.
“Understanding the need for more trading predictability, ForwardTrade provides a strong economic incentive for the industry’s leading beef processors and retailers,” said Neal. “Considering today’s market volatility, ForwardTrade provides a safer way to manage risk and improve the bottom line.”
JBS-USA and Cargill Meat Solutions have already committed to use ForwardTrade.