USDA Lowers Red Meat, Poultry Production Estimates

The USDA’s latest forecast for 2021 total red meat and poultry production was lowered from last month in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report Friday.

The beef production estimate was reduced from the August report as lower expected steer and heifer slaughter and lighter carcass weights more than offset higher cow slaughter forecasts.

The 2021 pork production forecast was reduced on lower expected second-half hog slaughter.

The broiler production forecast was raised on recent hatchery and slaughter data while the turkey production forecast was reduced.




The 2021 beef production forecast was reduced 130 million pounds, or 0.47%, from last month to 27.742 billion pounds from 27.872 billion on lower expected fed cattle slaughter and lighter carcass weights.  However, this was up 568 million pounds, or 2.09%, from last year’s production of 27.174 billion.

Next year’s beef-production forecast was lowered 90 million pounds, or 0.33%, to 26.875 billion pounds from August’s projection of 26.965 billion.  This would be down from the latest 2021 estimate by 867 million pounds, or 3.13%.

For 2021, the beef import forecast was raised 25 million pounds, or 0.80%, to 3.142 billion pounds from the August estimate of 3.117 billion, reflecting recent trade data.  The 2021 export forecast also was raised 30 million pounds, or 0.89%, on strong global demand from key trading partners to 3.414 billion pounds from last month’s 3.384 billion.

No changes were made to the 2022 trade forecasts of 3.150 billion pounds of imports and 3.270 billion in exports.




The estimate of 2021 pork production estimate of 27.739 billion pounds was down 85 million, or 0.31%, from August’s estimate of 27.824 billion.  The new estimate also was down 564 million, or 1.99%, from 2019’s production of 28.303 billion.

For 2022, the pork production estimate of 28.145 billion pounds was left unchanged, but this would be up from the new 2021 estimate by 406 billion, or 1.46%.

The pork export forecast for 2021 was reduced 75 million pounds, or 1.01%, to 7.334 billion pounds from 7.409 billion on recent trade data and expected slower demand growth from Asia.  no change was made to the 2022 forecast or 7.300 billion pounds.

The 2021 import forecast of 1.042 billion pounds was up from August’s 992 million.




Broiler and turkey production forecasts were raised on higher expected prices and lower expected feed costs.

Broiler export forecasts were reduced slightly for both 2021 and 2022.

The 2021 turkey export forecast was reduced slightly from last month.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers last week ranged from $122.43 to $127.40 per cwt, compared with the previous week’s weekly range of $126.96 to $127.03.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $192.44 to $203.38 per cwt, versus $200.18 to $201.30.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $5.36 per cwt at $327.22, while select was down $3.08 at $293.37.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $33.85 from $36.13 with 100 loads of fabricated product and 41 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Friday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.75 to $1.95 a bushel over the Sep futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Sep, which settled at $5.02 3/4 a bushel, up $0.06 3/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was $155.00 per cwt down $1.83.  This compares with Friday’s Sep contract settlement of $154.25 per cwt, down $1.50.