WASDE Forecasts Rising Meat, Poultry Production

The USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report forecast total US red meat and poultry production for 2019 would be 105.358 billion pounds, 2.369 billion, or 2.30%, above 2018’s 102.989 billion.

However, the 2018 production forecast was lowered 504 million pounds, or 0.49%, from last month to 102.989 billion pounds from 103.493 billion.




Beef production for 2019 was forecast at 27.715 billion pounds, 500 million, or 1.84%, above 2018’s 27.215 billion, on higher slaughter and heavier carcass weights, the WASDE report said.

Second-quarter cattle slaughter has been lower than anticipated a month ago, and the pace of marketings in the second half of the year was seen slower than before.

However, anticipated carcass weights were increased for second-half 2018, partly offsetting the slaughter reduction forecast, the report said.

For 2019, larger beef supplies and firm global demand were expected to support stronger US beef exports relative to 2018.  The 2019 number was 3.150 billion pounds, compared with the new 2018 estimate of 3.035 billion.

Beef imports next year were forecast 108 million pounds, or 3.56%, higher at 3.140 billion pounds from the 2018 estimate of 3.032 billion.  No change was made to the forecasts for beef imports for the outlying quarters.

Fed steer prices next year were forecast below 2018 in a range of $113 to $122 per cwt, versus 2018’s estimated range of $114 to $119 as relatively strong demand almost absorbs expected increases in supplies.  The 2018 cattle price forecast was little changed from last month.




Pork production next year was forecast to rise 840 million pounds, or 3.14%, to 27.610 billion pounds over the 2018 estimate of 26.770 billion on expected growth in farrowings and pigs per litter leading to larger pig crops, the USDA said.  Hog weights also were forecast higher than a month ago in 2019.

The second-quarter pork production forecast was reduced to 6.400 billion pounds from April’s 6.645 billion on the current pace of slaughter, but the forecast for the second half of the year was unchanged at 13.725b billion.

US pork exports were forecast to increase next year to 6.125 billion pounds from 2018’s 5.916 billion as expanding supplies and competitive prices support demand.

Pork imports for 2019 were forecast higher in 2019 at 1.120 billion pounds from 2018’s estimate of 1.099 billion, but import estimates were raised from the previous month on the current pace of trade.

Hog prices next year were forecast above 2018 as relatively strong demand absorbs expected increases in supplies.

The 2018 hog price forecast was reduced from last month to $43 to $45 per cwt from $43 to $45.




Broiler production next year was expected to surpass 2018 as the industry responds to favorable domestic and export prices.

The 2019 broiler price forecast was lower than 2018 on increasing supplies and competition from expanding red meat supplies.




No cattle sold Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange Video Auction, compared with sales the previous week at $122.40 per cwt.

Cash trading last week was at $125 to mostly $126 per cwt on a live basis, compared with mostly $124 to $126 the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was reported at $195, steady to down $3.

The USDA choice cutout Thursday was up $0.11 per cwt at $231.07, while select was up $0.19 at $209.14.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $21.93 from $22.01 with 82 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended
Wednesday, was $137.93 per cwt, down $0.07.  This compares with Thursday’s May close of $138.60, up $1.45.