Meat Supply Increase Largely From Production

Forecast increases in 2019 supplies of red meats, poultry eggs and milk will be driven largely by expected gains in production, particularly for beef, pork, broilers, turkey, eggs and milk, said the USDA’s Economic Research Service Monday in its monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.

Increased imports also are likely to be an important factor in the expanded supply of lamb as well as contributing to the increased supply of beef, the report said.

Domestic supply in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report is comprised of beginning stocks, production and imports, the Outlook report said.  US supplies of red meats, poultry, eggs and milk was forecast to grow in 2019 with beef up 2.3%, pork up 3.3%, lamb up 1.3%, broilers up 1.9%, turkey up 0.8%, eggs up 2.1% and milk up 0.9%.

Larger beginning stocks for lamb and turkey were expected to contribute to supply-growth forecasts for both, the report said.




Cattle slaughter remains robust heading into summer, but the 2018 beef production forecast was reduced slightly to 27.1 billion pounds on lighter-than-expected dressed weights, the Outlook report said.  Conversely, the forecast for 2018 beef exports was raised on greater demand from Asia, and the import forecast was raised on shipments from Oceania.

The latest National Agricultural Statistics Service livestock slaughter report, commercial beef production for April was up 7.8% from a year earlier to 2.1 billion pounds, pushing year-to-date production up 3.8% to 8.6 billion pounds, the Outlook Report said.

Beef packers slaughtered 2.6 million cattle, 7% more than in April 2017, but the increase in part reflected one more weekday in April this year.  However, the report also indicated that the average cattle dressed weight dropped 13 pounds to 806 pounds from March to April, a 1.6% decline.

That was a similar month-to-month percentage drop for the same period in 2016 and 2017, but it is steeper than the five-year average.

The AMS report of Actual Slaughter Under Federal Inspection for the week ended June 2 indicated cattle dressed weights continued to fall seasonally to one pound below the same week last year, the Outlook Report said.

However, dressed weights typically bottom around this time of year.  Lighter dressed weights were expected to more than offset second-quarter increased slaughter of steers, heifers and cows.

The forecast for second-half 2018 production was reduced slightly on lighter anticipated weights, the Outlook Report said.  As a result, this month’s forecast for 2018 beef production was 27.1 billion pounds, down 90 million from last month.  The forecast for 2019 production was left unchanged from last month.

The weekly average five-area USDA price likely reached a second-quarter peak of $124.81 per cwt for the week ended May 6 when the price was nearly $20 above the asking price of the Jun live cattle contract.




No fed cattle sold last Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange Video Auction, versus sales two weeks previous at $110 per cwt.

Limited cash trade was reported at $180 per cwt on a dressed basis last Wednesday, down $4 from the previous week.  Live-basis cash action was seen at $110 to $113, down $2 to $4.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was down $0.88 per cwt at $220.71, while select was up $1.47 at $204.20.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $16.51 from $18.86 with 77 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday, was $141.28 per cwt, up $0.55.  This compares with Monday’s Aug settlement of $148.97, up $1.00.