USDA Lowers Its Beef Production Forecast, Raises Pork

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The USDA lowered its outlook for 2019 commercial red meat and poultry production.

Beef was down from February on a slower fed cattle slaughter pace and lighter carcass, supporting the price estimate, and the USDA expects the cow slaughter pace to increase. 2019 beef production is now pegged at 27.3 billion pounds, with a projected steer price of $116 to $123 per hundredweight.

Imports and exports were unchanged at 3.010 billion and 3.255 billion pounds, respectively. Per capita consumption is seen at 57.3 pounds per person, down 0.7 on the month.

Pork was up on the month because of the current slaughter pace and heavier average weights, with the price projection steady to lower than last month. This year’s pork production is now seen at 27.43 billion pounds, with an estimated barrow and gilt price of $41 to $43 per hundredweight. Imports were lowered to 1.005 billion pounds and exports are down to 3.125 billion. Per capita consumption is expected to be 52.3 pounds per person, up 0.6.

Total commercial red meat production is projected at 54.958 billion pounds.

Broiler chicken production was unchanged, with a lower anticipated price range because of recent price data, while turkey production was down because of recent hatchery data, supporting prices. Broiler production is pegged at 43.1 billion pounds, with a price range of $.93 to $.99 per pound, imports of 134 million pounds, exports of 7.145 billion, and per capita consumption of 92.3 pounds per person, 0.1 lower.

For turkey, production is estimated at 5.855 billion pounds, with a price range of $.84 to $.89 per pound, imports of 20 million pounds, exports of 610 million, and per capita consumption of 15.9 pounds per person, down 0.1.

Total commercial poultry production is seen at 49.499 billion pounds for total commercial meat production of 104.457 billion pounds.

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