Quarterly Meat Production Up, Seen Higher

Total quarterly red meat and poultry production was up and expected to rise each quarter through 2018.

The Livestock Marketing Information Center took quarterly data from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and forecast beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey production.  The upshot is that US consumers will have plenty of protein in their local grocery stores, even though there could be some seasonal dips in pork output during the second and third quarters and in chicken production during the fourth quarter.

For the first quarter of this year, total red meat and poultry production was placed at 24.516 billion pounds, up 776 million, or 3.27%, from 23.740 billion in the year-earlier quarter and up 1.748 billion, or 7.68%, from the 2011-2015 average of 22.768 billion, the LMIC said.

Total meat production also was expected to rise in each quarter from the previous quarter.




The LMIC’s commercial beef production estimates also were up through 2018, continuing its tug on the five-year average.  Even though last year’s production gains won’t be figured into the long-term average until next year, they are expected to prop up the average numbers.

First-quarter 2017 commercial beef production was placed at 6.300 billion pounds, up 362 million, or 6.10%, from 5.938 billion in the year-earlier quarter and up 220 million, or 3.62%, from the previous five-year average of 6.080 billion.

Beef production was expected to grow even more in 2018.  The LMIC forecast total beef production at 6.523 billion pounds in the first quarter, up 223 million, or 3.54%, from 6.300 this year.

Second-quarter beef production was pegged at 6.683 billion pounds, up 219 million, or 3.39%, from 6.464 billion this year; third-quarter production was seen at 6.888 billion pounds, up 214 million, or 3.21%, from 6.674 billion this year, and fourth-quarter production was placed at 7.009 billion pounds, up 2176 million, or 3.19%, from 6.792 billion this year.




Pork production was expected to rise this year and next year with first-quarter output this year at 6.409 billion pounds, up 179 million, or 2.87%, from 6.230 a year ago and up 549 million, or 9.37%, from the 2011-2015 average of 5.860 billion.

Next year, first-quarter pork production was forecast at 6.538 billion pounds, up 129 million, or 2.01%, with the second quarter at 6.304 billion, up 105 million, or 1.69%, the third quarter at 6.328 billion, up 90 million, or 1.44%, and the fourth quarter at 7.059 billion, up 203 million, or 2.96%.




The weekly livestock exchange video auction was delayed until 10:00 am CT Thursday because of technical difficulties.

Fed cattle traded on the livestock exchange last Wednesday at an average of $132.18 per cwt on a live basis, down $0.36 from $132.54 a week earlier.  Cash trading then took place at $131.25 to $132.50, steady to down $0.75.

However, the bulk of last week’s trading took place on Thursday and Friday at $136 to $137.50 per cwt on a live basis, up $4 to $5 and at $215 to $216 on a dressed basis, up $7.

The USDA’s choice cutout Wednesday was up $0.26 per cwt at $250.71, while select was up $0.33 at $219.90.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $30.81 from $30.88 with 102 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $152.81 per cwt, up $0.22.  This compares with Wednesday’s Aug settlement at $154.80, down $0.57.