US meat markets dealt with rising supplies last year, and calculations show that a large part of fourth-quarter price pressure was the result of these large supplies.
Official fourth-quarter 2015 numbers aren’t in yet, but calculations by the Livestock Marketing Information Center show the supply facing the US market is likely to be up about 4.4% year over year while domestic production is expected to be up 2.0%.
Beyond domestic production, the US supply of red meat and poultry includes imports and frozen stocks minus exports.
For the fourth quarter of 2015, domestically available beef was about 2.6% above 2014 and nearly equal to 2013, the LMIC said.
US commercial production was projected to be up 1.5% while the additional 1.1% in available domestic supply came from larger frozen stocks, smaller exports and larger imports compared to quantities of recent years.
During the fourth quarter of 2015, the US pork market supply situation was a bit different than beef’s. The LMIC projected a 5.0% year-over-year increase in available supply, while the increase in production was 5.3%.
In 2015’s fourth quarter, the level of pork supply and US production were larger than any quarter in history, the LMIC said. To a small extent, net export tonnage (exports minus imports) helped cap the pork supply facing the US market, but a 5.0% gain is huge and resulted in large price declines.
BROILER SUPPLIES SURGE
With respect to broilers (young chickens), the story is similar to beef and pork, but is even more dramatic, the LMIC said.
In 2015, the available supply for US consumers was projected to be larger than any prior fourth quarter. Further, it was second only to the all-time quarterly high set in the third quarter.
The year over year jump in available fourth-quarter chicken was projected at 6.9%. However, the increase in domestic production was projected at a much more modest 1.6%. The difference was caused by the collapse in US chicken tonnage exported.