WASDE Report Cuts Meat, Poultry Production Estimates

The USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report tightened up on its estimates of 2020 and 2021 red meat and poultry production from the December report.

The 2020 beef production forecast was reduced as fourth-quarter cattle slaughter slowed.  The pork production forecast was reduced as the slower pace of slaughter late in the year more than offset heavier carcass weights.

The 2020 broiler production estimate was reduced from the previous report on recent hatchery and slaughter data, while the turkey production estimate was lowered on recent production data.

For 2021, lower expected beef, broiler and turkey production more than offset expected higher pork production.




Lower expected feedlot placements in late 2020 will affect fed cattle supplies in mid-2021.  Cattle carcass weights also were expected to be lighter in 2021.

Last year’s beef production estimate was lowered 80 million pounds, or 0.29%, to 27.158 billion pounds from 27.238 billion in the December report.  The 2021 production estimate came in at 27.190 billion pounds, down 70 million, or 0.26%, from 27.260 billion in the previous report.

The 2021 beef production estimate was expected to be up from the 2020 estimate by 32 million pounds, or 0.12%.

The 2020 beef import estimate was reduced 35 million pounds, or 1.03%, to 3.375 billion pounds from 3.410 billion in the December report on recent trade data.  The 2021 import forecast was reduced 20 million pounds, or 0.64%, to 3.115 billion from 3.135 billion primarily because of lower expected imports from Australia.  The 2021 import forecast was down 260 million pounds, or 7.70%, from 2020.

Beef exports for 2020 and 2021 were raised from last month, and 2021 could be up from 2020.  The new estimate for last year was 2.935 billion pounds, up 30 million, or 1.03%, from 2.905 billion a month earlier.  The new 2021 beef export forecast of 3.090 billion pounds was up 10 million, or 0.32%, from 3.080 billion.  The 2021 export forecast was up 155 million pounds, or 5.28%, from 2020.




The 2020 pork production forecast of 28.296 billion pounds was up 40 million, or 0.14%, from the previous report’s 28.336-billion-pound estimate.

The 2021 pork production forecast was raised 55 million pounds, or 0.19%, to 28.565 billion pounds from 28.510 billion in the previous report as higher expected hog slaughter more than offset forecasts for lighter carcass weights.

Pork exports for 2020 and 2021 were lowered to 7.314 billion pounds and 7.175 billion, respectively, from 7.324 billion and 7.175 billion, respectively, last month on weaker import demand forecasts from key trading partners.




Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains this week at $108 to $111 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to $2 from last week.  Dressed-basis trading was seen at $173 to $174 per cwt, down $2 to $3.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was up $1.45 per cwt at $209.14, while select was up $2.35 at $198.09.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $11.05 from $11.95 with 132 loads of fabricated product and 40 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 $1.18 to $1.25 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.17 1/4 a bushel, up $0.25.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $136.22 per cwt, up $0.06.  This compares with Tuesday’s Jan contract settlement of $133.22 per cwt, down $2.77.