Quarterly Beef Production Seen Lower In 2020

US quarterly beef production was estimated by the Livestock Marketing Information Center to be down from the same 2020 quarters in all but the second quarter.

Further, the LMIC projected quarterly US beef production next year to be down from the same quarter this year.

The LMIC said it used data from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service as its base and made its projections from there.




With the pandemic and the accompanying lockdowns, quarterly beef production last year fell below the 2015-2019 average, which trends upward each quarter from the first-quarter low.  Some of the lost production was made up in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, resulting in an atypical production spike on an LMIC bar chart.

But while LMIC estimates of quarterly beef production take into account the beef production of a previous year, economists there also look at Cattle on Feed reported feedlot placement numbers and feed costs, said Tyler Cozzins, LMIC agricultural economist.

The 2015-2019 average has first-quarter production averaging 6.157 billion pounds, the second quarter at 6.398 billion, third quarter at 6.603 billion and fourth-quarter at 6.608 billion.

Last year, quarterly beef production registered 6.929 billion pounds, 6.054 billion, 7.110 billion and 7.059 billion, respectively.

This year’s beef production was expected to be about 6.861 billion pounds in the first quarter, 6.424 billion in the second quarter, 6.781 billion in the third quarter and 6.773 billion in the fourth quarter.

The LMIC estimated 2022 quarterly beef production at 6.823 billion pounds, 6.325 billion, 6.672 billion and 6.651 billion, respectively.




Meanwhile, estimated pork production marches ever higher, it seems.  LMIC estimates of quarterly US pork production were up from the 2015-2019 average in every quarter through 2022.

NASS quarterly five-year average quarterly pork production was listed at 6.453 billion pounds for the first quarter, 6.193 billion for the second, 6.264 billion for the third and 6.882 billion for the fourth.

Last year’s production by quarter came in at 7.426 billion pounds for the first, 6.311 billion for the second, 7.049 billion for the third and 6.514 billion for the fourth.

This year, the LMIC projected quarterly pork production at 7.428 billion pounds, 6.694 billion, 7.198 billion and 7.599 billion, respectively.

And stretching out to 2022, pork production was seen around 7.536 billion pounds in the first quarter, 6.792 billion in the second, 7.338 billion in the third and 7.761 billion in the fourth.




Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains last week at $113 to $116 per cwt, steady to up $1 to $1.50 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was at $180 to $182 per cwt, steady to up $2.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $0.75 per cwt at $239.98, while select was up $2.08 at $229.98.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $10.00 from $11.33 with 66 loads of fabricated product and 23 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.00 to $1.25 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.51 a bushel, up $0.08 1/4.

No cattle were tendered for delivery against the Feb futures contract Monday.  Twenty-five heifer contracts were retendered at 1, and 25 heifer contracts were reclaimed at 1.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $141.12 per cwt, up $3.01.  This compares with Monday’s Mar contract settlement of $139.32 per cwt, up $0.20.