USDA Boosts 2016 Meat Production Estimates

The USDA’s World Agriculture Outlook Board Tuesday raised its estimate of total red meat and poultry production for this year from its June projections.

In the monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, the beef production forecast was raised largely on the pace of second-quarter slaughter, which was up.  Second-half feedlot marketings also were expected to be elevated from last year as new feedlot arrivals continue to grow.

Pork production for 2016 also was raised as second-quarter slaughter grew and economists expected fourth-quarter slaughter to be up.  However, 2017 pork production estimates were reduced after the June 24 USDA Hogs and Pigs Report showed producer intentions to farrow fewer sows in the second half than they did in the same period last year.

The broiler production estimate for the year was nudged higher on fresh year-to-date production and hatchery data.




Beef production for 2016 was estimated at 24.945 billion pounds, up 27 million, or 1.09%, from the June projection of 24.675 billion.  The new production estimate also was up 1.247 billion, or 5.26%, from 2015’s 23.698 billion.

The WASDE report cited increased cattle slaughter for the increase in its estimate of annual beef production.  Increases in cattle slaughter during the first half of the year centered mainly on increased steer slaughter as heifer slaughter was about in line with last year, and cow slaughter is only slightly elevated.

For the second week of June, the most recent week in which final data is available, steer slaughter amounted to 358,461 head, up 47,061, or 15.1%, from 311,400 a year earlier.  Steer slaughter for the week also was up 10,781, or 3.10%, from the 2010-2014 average of 347,680.

The WASDE estimate of 2017 beef production was left unchanged from the June report at 25.785 billion pounds.  This is up from the new 2016 estimate by 840,000, or 3.37%.




The new WASDE estimate for 2016 pork production, at 25.0 billion pounds, was nudged higher from June’s 24.960 billion by 40 million, or 0.16%.  At the same time, the 2017 estimated production of 25.455 billion pounds was trimmed by 155 million, or 0.61%, from the June estimate of 25.610 billion.

The new 2016 pork production estimate was up from 2015’s total of 24.501 billion pounds by 499 million, or 2.04%, and was below the 2017 estimate by 455 million, or 1.82%.




Scattered cash trades at $188 per cwt on a dressed basis were reported in Nebraska, $3 lower than last week but too few to establish a trend.  On a live basis, bids were posted at $116, but asking prices were firm at $120 to $122.

Cash markets last week were about $2 per cwt lower on a live basis at mostly $120 with some at $120.50 in Nebraska.  On a dressed basis, prices were about $3 to $4 lower at $191 to $192.

Feedlot showlists were thought to be larger so price pressure was expected.

The USDA’s choice cutout Tuesday was $2.32 per cwt lower at $206.38, while select was up $0.64 at $196.04.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $10.34 from $13.30 with 102 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $145.25 per cwt, down $1.17.  This compares with the Aug settlement Tuesday of $138.60, down $0.85.