USDA Lowers 2017 Meat Production Forecast

The USDA’s World Agriculture Outlook Board Tuesday reduced its total 2017 meat production forecast from a month earlier.  Decreases in commercial beef and broiler production more than offset increases in pork and turkey production.

The World Outlook Board made its new predictions in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand report.

Second-half 2017 beef production forecasts were reduced to 13.855 million pounds from 13.995 million last month, reflecting a slower-than-expected marketing pace for fed cattle, although cow slaughter expectations were higher.

Third- and fourth-quarter broiler production forecasts were reduced to 20.650 million pounds from 20.850 million on hatchery data and the current pace of slaughter.

The 2017 pork production forecast was raised to 25.841 million pounds from 25.806 million on higher-than-expected carcass weights.  The USDA is to release the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on Sep. 28, providing an indication of producer farrowing intentions into early 2018.

The third-quarter turkey production forecast was raised slightly to 1.465 million pounds from 1.450 million, but no changes were made to the outlying quarter.

Beef import estimates for 2017 and 2018 were left unchanged at 2.832 million pounds and 2.870 million, respectively.

Pork import estimates also were left unchanged at 1.095 million pounds and 935,000 pounds, respectively.




For 2018, the beef production forecast was lowered to 27.275 million pounds from the previous month’s 27.360 million as a slower rate of feedlot placements during the second-half of 2017 was expected to result in reduced steer and heifer slaughter in the first half of 2018.

The annual pork production forecast for next year was reduced slightly to 26.715 million from the previous month’s 26.735 million while the poultry production forecast for 2018 was unchanged at 49.005 million pounds.

The 2018 turkey production forecast was held steady at 6.180 million pounds.




Cattle price estimates were reduced from last month for the rest of 2017 and into early 2018 on current price weakness.  The new estimate for 2017 was in a range of $118 to $120 cwt, compared with last month’s estimate of $120 to $122.  For 2018, prices were estimated in a range of $111 to $120 per cwt, compared with $112 to $121 a month earlier.

The hog price forecast for 2017 was lowered from a month earlier to $50 to $51 per cwt, compared with last month’s estimate of $51 to $52, but the 2018 price forecast remained unchanged at $46 to $50.

The annual broiler price forecasts for 2017 and 2018 were unchanged at 86 to 94 cents per pound and 85 to 92 cents, respectively.

The turkey price forecast was reduced for 2017 to 99 to 101 cents a pound from 99 to 102 cents, as slightly higher third-quarter price forecasts were more than offset by expected declines in the fourth quarter.  The 2018 forecast was unchanged at 100 to 109 cents a pound.




Only one lot of cattle sold last Wednesday on the livestock exchange video auction at $163 per cwt on a dressed basis, down $3 from the previous week.

Grudging cash trading was reported last week at $105 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $1 from the previous week and at $163 dressed, down $2 to $3.

The USDA’s choice cutout Tuesday was down $0.77 per cwt at $190.79, while select was up $0.48 at $190.86.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $0.07 from $1.18 with 119 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Monday was $148.97 per cwt, down $0.04.  This compares with Tuesday’s Sep settlement of $147.97, down $0.47.