USDA Raises Red Meat, Poultry Production Forecast

The USDA Thursday raised its 2019 red meat and poultry production forecast to 104.517 billion pounds from 104.167 billion last month as higher expected pork and broiler production more than offsets lower beef and turkey production forecasts.  This was a gain of 35 million, or 0.33%.

The new predictions came in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

For 2020, the red meat and poultry production forecast was raised 185 million pounds, or 0.18%, to 105.854 billion pounds from 105.669 billion on higher forecast pork production.




The 2019 beef production forecast of 27.129 billion pounds was reduced by 75 million pounds, or 0.28%, from 27.204 billion primarily because of lighter carcass weights and slightly lower forecasts for third-quarter steer and heifer slaughter.

More information was expected in the USDA’s scheduled Cattle report on July 19, providing a mid-year estimate of US cattle inventory along with producer intentions regarding retention of heifers for beef cow replacement.

The 2019 beef import forecast was raised to 3.048 billion pounds from 3.038 billion in June, but the export forecast was lowered to 3.151 billion from 3.161 billion on recent trade data.  The 2020 beef trade forecasts were unchanged from last month, with imports at 2.960 billion pounds and exports at 3.245 billion.

Cattle price forecasts for 2019 were lowered to $115.50 per cwt from $117.00 last month, reflecting current prices; 2020 price forecasts were unchanged.




Forecast 2019 pork production was raised to 27.648 billion pounds from 27.288 billion last month on higher-than-expected second-quarter commercial hog slaughter.

In addition, the June 27 Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report indicated a first-half pig crop that was 4% more than 2018, which supported a higher second-half production forecast.  Although producers indicated intentions to farrow about the same number of sows in the second half of 2019, growth in pigs per litter probably will support higher hog slaughter numbers in 2020.

The 2019 pork export forecast was lowered to 6.441 billion pounds from 6.466 billion on recent trade data, but no change was made to the 2020 export forecast of 6.945 billion.

The 2019 pork import forecast was lowered to 974 million pounds from 984 million, and the 2020 import forecast declined to 935 million pounds from 945 million.

Hog price forecasts for 2019 were lowered on recent prices and pressure from forecasts for increased pork production.




The USDA’s second-quarter 2019 broiler production was raised on slaughter data, but no change was made to outlying quarters.

The 2019 broiler export forecast was raised on recent trade data and stronger expected global demand in the second half of the year.

No change was made to the 2020 broiler export forecast.

Broiler price forecasts were lowered for 2019 on current price weakness and continued slow demand.  No changes were made to 2020 broiler price forecasts.




Cash cattle trade was reported in the Plains Thursday at $181 per cwt on a dressed basis, steady to up $1 from last week.  Live-basis cash cattle trading was reported last week at $109 to $113.50 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $2.

The USDA choice cutout Thursday was down $0.65 per cwt at $213.77, while select was off $0.10 at $190.79.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $22.98 from $23.53 with 99 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $139.32 per cwt, up $3.56 from the previous day.  This compares with Thursday’s Aug contract settlement of $142.62, up $0.27.