USDA Ups Red Meat, Poultry Production Estimate

The USDA Tuesday raised its estimate of 2020 red meat and poultry production from the January report and raised its estimate of 2021 production.

The new estimates came in the USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report and showed lowered production estimates only for 2020 beef.  All other meat types showed increases in the estimated output.




The new 2020 beef production number was pegged at 27.152 billion pounds, down 6.000 million, or 0.02%, from 27.158 billion in the January WASDE report.  Fresh December data was cited for the change.

The 2021 beef production forecast was raised 350 million pounds, or 1.29%, to 27.540 billion pounds from 27.190 billion the previous month primarily on higher cattle slaughter and heavier-than-expected early year cattle weights.

The 2020 total beef export picture was placed at 2.956 billion pounds, up 21 million, or 0.72%, from the January estimate of 2.935 billion.  The 2021 beef export picture was painted at 3.145 billion pounds, up 55 million, or 1.78%, from 3.090 billion in January.

The new 2020 beef import forecast was pegged at 3.343 billion pounds, down 32 million, or 0.95%, from 3.375 billion in the January report, while the 2021 import estimate was placed at 3.005 billion pounds, down 110 million, or 3.53%, from 3.115 billion a month ago.




The new 2020 pork production number was placed at 28.300 billion pounds, up 4 million, or 0.01%, from 28.296 billion in the January report, while the 2021 production estimate was listed at 28.710 billion pounds, up 145 million, or 0.51%, from 28.565 billion a month ago.

The pork production estimate was raised on higher expected hog slaughter as well as heavier carcass weights in the first half of the year.

Last year’s pork export estimate was lowered 32 million pounds, or 0.44%, to 7.282 billion pounds from 7.314 billion in the January report, while the 2021 export estimate was left unchanged at 7.175 billion.

The 2020 import prediction of 904 million pounds was down from January’s 912 million, and the 2021 estimate was steady at 945 million.




The new 2020 chicken production estimate was raised 24 million pounds, or 0.05%, to 44.574 billion pounds from 44.550 billion in the January report, while 2021 production was estimated at 44.880 billion pounds, up 10 million, or 0.02%, from 44.870 billion.

2021 broiler production estimates were raised slightly from the January report, but growth estimates in second half was slowed by higher expected feed costs.




Fed cattle trading was reported last week at $112 to mostly $114 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to up $1 from last week, and at $178 to $180 on a dressed basis, up $1 to $2.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was down $1.91 per cwt at $234.29, while select was up $0.12 at $220.73.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $13.56 from $15.59 with 76 loads of fabricated product and 45 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 unchanged at $1.00 to $1.25 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.56 1/4 a bushel, down $0.07 1/2.

Sixty-six heifer contracts were tendered for delivery against the Feb cattle contract Tuesday; nine steer contracts were retendered at one, and four were reclaimed at one.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $135.63 per cwt, up $0.16.  This compares with Tuesday’s Mar contract settlement of $138,65 per cwt, up $1.20.