WASDE Raises 2018 Meat Production Estimate

In addition to lower projections for world corn stocks, the USDA’s World Agriculture Board Wednesday projected higher total red meat and poultry production for 2018.

The forecasts came in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, which added that the increased red meat and poultry production estimate was based on ideas of increased production of cattle, hogs and poultry.

However, the WASDE report reduced total red meat and poultry production for 2017 from the April report.  Beef and pork production estimates were reduced amid declining cattle and hog carcass weights and expectations for more of the same.

Cattle and hog price forecasts for this year were raised.  The WASDE report cited recent price strength for both and expectations that demand would remain relatively firm through the year.

The broiler price forecast for this year was raised from the April report as second-quarter prices climbed.

The 2017 broiler production estimate was lowered on lower forecasts for second-quarter production.




Cattle placements during the second half of this year and into early 2018 were forecast to be higher.  These cattle will be slaughtered in 2018, supporting estimates for higher beef production.  Carcass weights also were expected to be higher.

The larger beef supplies and lower prices were expected to support stronger US beef exports.

Coincidentally, beef imports were forecast to be higher as supplies of domestic processing grade beef remains relatively tight, and supplies of beef increases in key exporting countries.  The US exports primarily high-eating-quality beef along with hide and offal and imports lower-graded beef for grinding and mixing with US trimmings for hamburger.

The beer import forecast was raised based on first-quarter trade data.

Cattle prices next year were expected to decline from this year along with forecasts for supply increases.


2018 HOGS


Along with cattle, 2018 hog prices were expected to decline relative to this year amid rising supplies.  This year’s hog prices were forecast to continue rising, however, as demand was expected to remain strong through the year.

Pork production this year was forecast to be up amid expected increases in farrowings and continued gains in sow productivity.

Pork exports next year were forecast to increase as expanding supplies and competitive prices support demand for the US product.

US pork imports were projected to decline next year as ample domestic supplies pressure prices.




Higher broiler and egg production forecasts reflect expanded production in response to moderate feed prices and relatively strong 2017 prices.

Broiler production this year was expected to decline on forecasts for lower second-quarter production.

Broiler exports next year were forecast higher on expected continued gains in foreign demand.

Broiler prices were forecast to continue rising this year and next as domestic and world demand remain strong.




After trading on the livestock exchange Wednesday at an average of $138.40 per cwt on a live basis, down $1.75 from $140.15 a week earlier, fed cattle began to trade in the Plains.

Cash cattle traded at $138 to $138.50 per cwt live, but the volume came at $138, down $2 to $3.50.  Dressed-basis trade was not reported, but last week was at $230 to $231, up $12 to $15.

The USDA’s choice cutout Wednesday was up $2.42 per cwt at $244.58, while select was up $1.59 at $224.62.  The choice/select spread widened to $19.96 from $19.13 with 73 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $147.66 per cwt, down $0.07.  This compares with Wednesday’s May settlement at $144.50, down $0.02.