USDA Sees Less Total Red Meat, Poultry Production

The USDA’s forecast for 2021 total red meat and poultry production was lowered from last month as lower pork, broiler and turkey forecasts more than offset a higher beef forecast.

For 2022, the total red meat and poultry forecast was reduced from the September report.

The new estimates came from the USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report Tuesday.




Beef production this year was raised 90 million pounds, or 0.32%, to 27.832 billion pounds from 27.742 billion in the September report as lower expected steer and heifer slaughter were more than offset by higher cow slaughter and heavier average carcass weights.  However, it was more than 2020’s 27.174 billion pounds by 658 million, or 2.42%.

Although higher expected placements of cattle in the second half of 2021 were expected to support higher early 2022 supplies of fed cattle, placement forecasts for the first half of 2022 were lowered, and fed cattle supplies in the second half of 2022 were expected to be tighter.

For 2021 and 2022, beef import forecasts were raised reflecting continued strength in demand, while the export forecasts were unchanged at 3.414 billion and 3.270 billion pounds, respectively.

The new 2021 beef import forecast was 3.187 billion pounds, compared with 3.142 billion in September, a gain of 45 million, or 1.43%.  The new 2022 import forecast was 3.165 billion pounds, up 15 million, or 0.48%, from 3.150 billion in September.




The 2021 pork production forecast was reduced to 27.674 billion pounds, down 65 million, or 0.23%, from 27.739 billion on lower expected fourth-quarter hog slaughter.

USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, released on Sep. 24, estimated a lower pig crop for June through August and lower farrowing intentions for September-November.  This supported lower hog slaughter expectations for first-half 2022.

Slower expected growth in pigs per litter during 2022 resulted in lower expected hog supplies in the second half of the year (27.585 billion, down 560 million, or 1.99%, from 28.145 billion).

The pork import forecasts were raised on increased supplies of pork on the global market.  The pork export forecast for 2021 was reduced on weaker expected demand from China and increased competition in global markets.  However, exports were increased for 2022 as growth in several key markets recovers.




Broiler and turkey production forecasts were reduced on expectations of a relatively slow response to improving margins.

The broiler export forecast for 2021 was raised slightly, but no change was made to the 2022 forecast.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $124.35 to $124.69 per cwt, compared with the previous week’s range of $123.39 to $125.00.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $193.39 to $196.04 per cwt, versus $193.61 to $196.03.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was down $0.05 per cwt at $281.07, while select was off $2.29 at $261.35.  The choice/select spread widened to $19.72 from $17.48 with 115 loads of fabricated product and 62 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Tuesday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were down $0.05 to $0.10 at $1.10 to $1.20 a bushel over the Dec futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Dec, which settled at $5.22 1/2 a bushel, down $0.10 1/2.

No contracts were tendered for delivery Tuesday against the Oct live cattle contract.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $154.15 per cwt up $0.53.  This compares with Tuesday’s Oct contract settlement of $158.57 per cwt, down $0.75.