USDA Estimates 2020 Meat Production Gain

The US World Agriculture Board estimated total US red meat and poultry production for 2020 to be above this year, while only small changes were made to 2019 production estimates.

In its World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, the World Agriculture board made small reductions to beef and pork production estimates, largely because of expected offsetting changes in slaughter and carcass weights.

This year’s broiler production estimate was lowered on hatchery and slaughter data to date, but the turkey forecast was raised on recent hatchery data.




The 2020 beef production forecast, at 27.510 billion pounds, was higher than the 2019 estimate of 27.269 billion pounds primarily because of higher projected steer and heifer slaughter and heavier carcass weights, the report said.  If it holds, this would be a gain of 241 million pounds, or 0.88%.

The 2019 beef export forecast was reduced from last month on slower-than-anticipated exports to key trading partners, the report said.

For 2020, tightness in competitor beef supplies and firm global demand were expected to support stronger US beef exports relative to 2019, the report said.  Beef exports for 2019 were pegged at 3.171 billion pounds, 74 million, or 2.33%, below the 3.245 billion pounds that were projected for 2020.

Small changes were made to beef and pork import forecasts reflecting first-quarter trade data, the report said.  However, forecasts for the rest of the year were unchanged.

US beef imports were expected to shrink from year to year.  For 2019 US beef imports were estimated at 3.013 billion pounds, while 2020 beef imports were estimated at 2.960 billion pounds, a decline of 53 million, or 1.76%.




Pork production next year was forecast to increase 962 million pounds, or 3.52%, to 28.285 billion pounds from 2019’s estimated 27.323 billion as producers late this year and into 2020 continue to expand their herds, the report said.  Hog carcass weights also were forecast higher next year as feed prices were forecast lower.

Pork exports were forecast to increase next year to 6.675 billion pounds from 6,246 billion this year on stronger global demand for US pork, an increase of 429 million, or 6.87%.  The export forecast was raised as higher expected sales of pork in the second half of the year were expected to more than offset the slower-than-expected pace of exports to date.

Pork imports next year were expected at 965 million pounds, down from the estimated 1.004 billion this year.  This would be a decline of 39 million pounds, or 3.88%.




Broiler production next year, AT 43.550 billion pounds, was expected to surpass 2019’s estimated 42.991 billion as the industry responds to processing capacity expansion late this year and favorable feed prices.

Broiler exports were forecast higher, at 7.250 billion pounds from 2019’s 7.107 billion on expected gains in foreign demand.  The forecast was reduced on lower-than-expected shipments in the first quarter.




Cash cattle trading took place this week in the Plains at $117 to $118 per cwt, down $3 from last week.  Dressed-basis trade took place at $190 per cwt, down $3 to $5.

The USDA choice cutout Thursday was down $0.01 per cwt at $219.56, while select was down $0.16 at $207.88.  The choice/select spread widened to $11.68 from $11.53 with 96 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday, was $133.06 per cwt, down $1.75.  This compares with Thursday’s May contract settlement of $134.22, down $1.70.