In its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, the USDA raised its estimate of total 2021 red meat and poultry production estimate from last month.
Beef and poultry production estimates for 2021 were raised while pork production was expected to decline.
For 2022, the total red meat and poultry forecast was raised from the previous month as higher expected beef and broiler production more than offsets lower pork production estimates.
BEEF PRODUCTION ESTIMATES RAISED
The 2021 beef production estimate was raised 55 million pounds, or 0.20%, to 27.950 billion pounds from 27.895 billion a month ago on higher estimates for non-fed cattle slaughter and heavier average carcass weights.
For 2022, the new beef production estimate was 27.165 billion pounds, up from 27.000 a month ago.
Higher expected placements in late 2021 and first-half 2022 were expected to support greater fed cattle supplies during much of 2022. Slightly heavier carcass weights and greater non-fed cattle slaughter in the first half of the year also supports increased beef production estimates.
USDA is scheduled to release its semi-annual Cattle (Inventory) report on Jan. 31, providing estimates of heifers held for breeding and an insight into the number of feeder cattle available for placement during 2022.
The 2021 beef import estimate was raised to 3.355 billion pounds from 3.315 billion on recent trade data, while beef export forecasts remained unchanged at 3.455 billion.
The 2022 beef import forecast was unchanged at 3.265 billion pounds, as was the export forecast at 3.270 billion.
PORK PRODUCTION ESTIMATES CUT
The 2021 pork production estimate was reduced 40 million pounds, or 0.14%, to 27.693 billion pounds from 27.733 billion last month on the slower pace of slaughter in late 2021.
The 2022 pork production forecast was reduced to 27.515 billion pounds from 27.595 billion in December as slower expected second-half hog slaughter more than offset higher slaughter expectations in the first and second quarters.
In the December Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, producers indicated intentions to farrow fractionally fewer sows in the first half of 2022 than in 2021; hogs from this pig crop likely will be slaughtered during the second half.
The 2021 pork export estimate was lowered to 7.088 billion pounds from 7.163 last month on recent trade data. The pork export forecast was lowered on continued weak import demand from China and expectations of increased competition from competing exporters.
2021 pork import estimates were raised to 1.190 billion pounds from 1.160 billion last month.
2022 pork imports were estimated at 1.300 billion pounds, versus 1.190 billion a month ago. Exports were forecast at 7.000 billion pounds, against 7.405 billion in December.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $139.53 to $141.00 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $135.00 to $143.25. FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $216.27 to $218.77 per cwt, versus $212.43 to $218.42.
The USDA choice cutout Thursday was up $2.93 per cwt at $282.86, while select was up $1.78 at $272.76. The choice/select spread widened to $10.10 from $8.95 with 76 loads of fabricated product and 51 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
The USDA reported that basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.45 to $1.65 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.35 over Mar, which settled at $5.87 1/2 a bushel, down $0.11 1/2.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $162.01 per cwt down $0.20. This compares with Thursday’s Jan contract settlement of $162.92 per cwt, up $1.05.