USDA Trims Meat, Poultry Production Forecasts

The USDA’s forecast for 2019 red meat and poultry production was reduced 61 million pounds, or 0.06%, to 104.167 billion pounds from 104.228 billion last month as lower forecasts for beef, pork and turkey production more than offset higher broiler production expectations.

The new forecasts were in Tuesday’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

The 2020 red meat and poultry production forecast also was lowered from the May report to 105.669 billion pounds from 106.059 billion, a dip of 390 million, or 0.37%.  Production growth for livestock and poultry was expected to be slower as producers respond to higher feed costs.




The decline in the 2019 beef production forecast largely reflected expected lower steer and heifer slaughter in the second half of the year.  The new forecast was for 27.204 billion pounds, down 65 million, or 0.24%, from 27.269 billion a month ago but up 332 million, or 1.24%, from 2018’s 26.872 billion.

The 2020 beef production forecast, at 27.420 billion pounds, was reduced 90 million pounds, or 0.33%, from 27.510 billion on lower expected steer and heifer slaughter as incentives to add weight on pasture slows the pace of feedlot placements.

The 2019 beef import forecast was raised 25 million pounds, or 0.83%, to 3.038 billion pounds from May’s estimated 3.013 billion on recent trade data and was up 40 million pounds, or 1.33%, from 2018’s 2.998 billion.  However, the 2019 export forecast was reduced from a month ago to 3.161 billion pounds from 3.171 billion, a dip of 10 million pounds, or 0.32%, on the current pace of beef exports to several trading partners.

No change was made to the 2020 beef trade forecasts with imports pegged at 2.960 billion pounds and exports placed at 3.245 billion.




The forecast in 2019 pork production was lowered to 27.288 billion pounds from 27.323 billion last month, a decline of 35 million, or 0.13%, primarily because the pace of slaughter this year has been slower than expected.

The 2020 pork production forecast also was lowered from the May estimate to 28.225 billion pounds from 28.285 billion, down 60 million, or 0.21%.  However, 2019 and 2020 estimates were up from 2018’s 26.315 billion pounds.

Pork export forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were raised from the previous month, largely reflecting the removal of Mexico’s tariffs on US pork products in late May.  The 2019 pork export forecast now stands at 6.466 billion pounds, compared with 6.246 billion in May.

The 2019 pork import forecast came to 984 million pounds, down from May’s 1.004 billion.




The 2019 broiler production forecast was raised on recent hatchery data and expected heavier bird weights.

The 2019 broiler export forecast was reduced slightly on recent trade data.  No change was made to the 2020 broiler export forecast.




Cash cattle trading was reported in the Plains last week at $112 to $115 per cwt on a live basis, down $3 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trade was reported at $184, down $2.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was up $0.73 per cwt at $222.39, while select was down $0.54 at $208.25.  The choice/select spread widened to $14.14 from $12.87 with 91 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

No contract delivery notices were served for the Jun live cattle futures contract on Tuesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Monday was $132.91 per cwt, up $0.65 from the previous day.  This compares with Tuesday’s Aug contract settlement of $138.12, down $1.70.