Annual Meat Consumption Seen Higher

Annual US meat consumption is expected to rise this year in all major meat categories and then turn in a smaller increase next year through a combination of increased production and imports.

Overall meat consumption was expected to rise 7.66 pounds, or 3.81%, to 208.63 pounds from 200.97 pounds.  In 2016, total per-capita meat consumption was expected to rise another 0.88 pounds, or 0.42%, to 209.51 pounds from 208.63 pounds.

USDA economists predicted chicken consumption would rise the most this year, clocking in a 4.72-pound, or 5.57%, increase to 89.42 pounds from 84.70 pounds last year.  Consumption next year was expected to rise again, this time to 90.40 pounds, a gain of 0.99 pounds, or 1.10%.

Pork consumption this year was expected to rise, 2.75 pounds, or 5.92%, to 49.18 pounds from 46.44 pounds last year.  However, economists predicted 2016 pork consumption would decline 0.70 pound, or 1.43%, to 48.48 pounds.

The increase in 2015 per-capita turkey consumption was next with a gain of 0.14 pound, or 0.9%, to 15.66 pounds from 15.52 pounds in 2013.  Next year’s gain was pegged at 0.32 pound, or 2.05%, to 15.99 pounds.

Beef consumption this year was expected to rise a miniscule 0.06 pounds, or 0.10%, to 54.36 pounds from 54.31 pounds last year.  Beef consumption next year was forecast at 54.64 pounds, up 0.28 pounds, or 0.51%.

Data also show expected increases in meat consumption fall well short of peak consumption in 2004 at 220.26 pounds.  In that year, total per-capita chicken consumption amounted to 85.49 pounds, compared with beef at 66.24 pounds, pork at 51.45 pounds and turkey at 17.09 pounds.




Total meat production however, is set to set record highs in 2015 and in 2016, according to USDA data, which includes lamb and veal production.  Total production this year was expected to hit 94.89 billion pounds, followed by next year’s output of 97.25 billion.  Both will eclipse the previous record of 93.60 billion pounds set in 2008.

Ranking first in this year’s production estimate is chicken, which is projected at 40.73 billion pounds, compared with last year’s 38.66 billion and 2016’s 42.20 billion.

Next comes pork and beef production, which were forecast to swap positions next year for the first time.  This year, beef production was forecast at 24.124 billion pounds, compared with pork’s 23.911 billion.

But next year, pork production was expected to best beef production, coming in with 24.679 billion pounds, versus beef’s 24.303 billion.




Cash cattle markets remained quiet Tuesday as traders watched cattle futures tumble after a round of short covering lifted the market early.  Continued concerns about beef demand weigh on traders’ minds.

No bids were reported from packer buyers, but asking prices were holding at $150 per cwt on a live basis and $233 dressed.

Cattle last week were $3 to $4 per cwt lower on a live basis at mostly $145 to $147.50 with some in Nebraska up to $149.  Cattle also traded at $232 to $234 on a dressed basis last week, about $2 to $4 lower.

The USDA reported lower boxed beef prices Tuesday with choice down $0.45 per cwt at $243.86 and select off $0.18 at $233.80.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $213.18 per cwt, down $1.13.  This compares with the Aug settlement Tuesday of $210.90, up $0.07.