USDA Ups Meat Production Forecast

The USDA Monday raised its forecast for total red meat and poultry production in 2019 to 104.624 million pounds from 104.517 million last month as increases in broiler and turkey production more than offset expected production declines in beef and pork.

For 2020, the red meat and poultry production forecast was raised to 106.479 billion pounds from 105.854 billion on higher expected beef and poultry production.

The data came in the USDA’s World Outlook Board’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.  The report was anticipated with special interest by traders because the July report’s planted acreage and production estimate were declaimed broadly as being too high after heavy spring rains and flooding.

The planted acreage estimate was dropped by 1.7 million acres from July to 90.000 million, still well above trade estimates around 87.86 million.  Harvested acres were estimated at 82.0 million, from 83.6 million but still above estimates of 80.05 million.




The forecast decline in 2019 beef production largely reflected a slower pace of third-quarter cattle slaughter and expectations of lighter carcass weights through 2019.

The 2020 beef production forecast was raised to 27.656 billion pounds from 27.420 billion in July on a higher expected pace of first-half marketings.  However, the 2019 calf-crop estimated in the July Cattle (Inventory) report implied lower-than-previously expected marketings in the latter part of 2020.

The 2019 beef import forecast was adjusted downward to 3.045 million pounds from 3.048 million to reflect June trade data; the import forecast for 2020 was unchanged at 2.960 million.

Beef export forecasts were unchanged for 2019 and 2020 at 3.151 million and 3.245 million pounds, respectively.

The fed steer price forecast was raised for 2019 to $116.50 per cwt from $115.50 on current price strength.  The 2020 price forecast was unchanged at $119.00 per cwt.




The 2019 pork production forecast was reduced to 27.633 billion pounds from 27.648 billion in July on a slower expected pace of slaughter during the third quarter.

Forecast pork production for 2020 was unchanged from the previous month at 28.410 billion pounds.

The pork import forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were lowered on slowing import demand.  For 2019, the pork import forecast was placed at 956 million pounds, down from 974 million in July.  For 2020, the pork import forecast was set at 915 million pounds, compared with 935 million in July.

The pork export forecast for 2019 was adjusted based on June trade data, bringing it to 6.455 billion pounds from 6.441 billion in July.  No change was made to the 2020 pork export forecast of 6.945 billion pounds.

The 2019 hog price forecast was lowered on recent price pressure to $51.00 per cwt from $51.50, but the 2020 price forecast was left unchanged from last month’s $59.00.




Cash cattle traded in Iowa last Monday at $114 per cwt on a live basis, steady to down $2 from the previous week.  Late-week trade was at $110 to $113, down $1 to $3.  Dressed-basis trade was at $181 to $183, down $2.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $2.25 per cwt at $218.62, while select was up $3.98 at $197.79.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $20.83 from $22.56 with 111 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

No cattle were tendered for delivery against the Aug contract Monday.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday was $141.10 per cwt, down $0.56 from the previous day.  This compares with Monday’s Aug contract settlement of $134.40, down $4.50.