Record U.S. Meat Production Will Boost Exports and Domestic Consumption

Posted on 09/12/2018 12:41 PM

The USDA forecast total meat production in 2018 was reduced from last month on decreases in commercial pork and turkey production. Still, output will rise 2.9% from a 2017 to a record 103.1 billion pounds. USDA’s annual beef production forecast was left unchanged from a month ago as increases in second-half cattle slaughter are offset by expected lighter carcass weights.

The 2018 pork production forecast reduced on the current pace of slaughter and slightly lighter carcass weights in the third quarter. USDA will release the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on September 27, providing an indication of producer farrowing intentions into early 2019.

For 2019, beef, pork and poultry production forecasts are up fractionally from last month’s projections and up 2.6% from this year. USDA projected steer prices next year will average $117.75, up from $115.71 estimated this year. The average 2019 cash hog prices cut 50 cents to $40.25 from USDA’s August forecast. That’s down from $43.13 projected for 2018. Average broiler prices projected at 95.8 cents, down from 97.1 cents this year.

Both U.S. beef and pork export forecasts for 2018 and 2019 were raised to records. Chicken remains the biggest U.S. meat export at 6.869 billion pounds in 2018, compared with total red meat exports of 9.16 billion.

U.S. milk production forecast for 2018 cut from the previous month on slightly lower milk cow numbers and a slower rate of growth in milk per cow in the third quarter. However, for 2019, the milk production forecast raised to a record 221 billion pounds from 217.8 billion estimated in 2018. For 2018 and 2019, fat-basis export forecasts are reduced from the previous month on slowing shipments of whey products and a number of other dairy products. The 2018 Class III price forecast is raised on higher forecast cheese and whey prices. The all-milk price is raised to $16.30 to $16.50 per cwt for 2018 and $16.75 to $17.75 per cwt for 2019.

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