Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook (June)

Beef/Cattle: The 2020 second-quarter beef production forecast was raised by 370 million pounds from May’s forecast to 6.0 billion pounds due to a quicker-than-expected pace of slaughter. The third- and fourth-quarter beef production forecasts were also raised from last month at 6.9 and 6.8 billion pounds, respectively. This increase in slaughter raises the forecast of 2020 beef production to 26.7 billion pounds. Cattle prices are forecast higher than last month on increased packer demand as slaughter capacity recovers. April’s beef imports were fractionally lower than last year at 270.7 million pounds.  However, the second- and third-quarter forecasts were revised up to 785 and 730 million pounds, respectively, on stronger expected demand of beef for processing. U.S. beef exports in April were down 3.4 percent from a year earlier. The second-quarter beef export forecast remains unchanged at 675 million pounds, while the third-quarter beef forecast was revised up to 750 million pounds, reflecting an increase in available exportable supplies.

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Dairy: Wholesale prices for butter and cheese have been extremely volatile in recent weeks, plunging to very low levels in April and early May before rising to relatively high levels more recently. Supply and demand factors account for the volatility in prices. After the downturn in prices and excess milk supply in April and early May, dairy cooperatives and other handlers took steps to limit supply from dairy farmers. Food service outlets cut back drastically on their orders in April due to COVID-19. As food service started increasing in some States, pipeline stocks for food service establishments needed to be replenished to prepare for the increase in demand. The U.S. Government also began buying large quantities of food to distribute to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other nonprofit organizations. Aggregate dairy exports have remained substantially above previous-year levels during the pandemic.

With the recent increase in prices and higher expected demand, the all-milk price forecast for 2020 has been raised to $16.65 per cwt, an increase from the May forecast of $14.55 per cwt. The all-milk price forecast for 2021 is $16.20 per cwt, an increase from the May forecast of $15.00 per cwt.

Pork/Hogs: While capacity utilization rates in the U.S. pork processing sector are rebounding, pork production for the balance of 2020 and into 2021 will likely reflect rates lower than a year ago as processors implement U.S. Government guidance measures to reduce COVID-19 infections. Pork production in 2020 is expected to be 0.5 percent above a year ago. 2021 production is forecast 1.7 percent higher than production this year.

The third-quarter broiler production forecast was increased on recent hatchery data, while the price forecast was revised lower on expectations for abundant supplies. The export forecast is unchanged. The table egg production forecast was reduced on anticipation that food service demand will remain weak, while the wholesale price forecast was decreased on supplies outpacing demand. The egg export forecast was increased on expectations for strong demand from Mexico. Turkey production was revised down in 2020 and 2021 on low poult placements. Turkey export forecasts were revised down reflecting lower production expectations and low exports so far this year. The turkey price estimate was revised up for the current quarter on strong weekly prices but remains unchanged for the outlying quarters.

Meat Production Increases Expected in 2021

2021 production for beef, pork, broilers, and turkeys is expected to be higher than 2019 and 2020 levels.  See the figure below.

The largest year-over-year percent changes are in beef production. The 2020 beef production forecast is 1.8 percent below production in 2019. In 2021 production is expected to be 3.4 percent higher than in 2020. The 2020 pork production forecast is 0.5 percent below production in 2019. Next year, pork production is expected to be 1.7 percent higher than forecast production in 2020. Broiler production in 2020 is forecast 0.3 percent below production last year. For 2021 broilers, production is expected to be 2.1 percent higher than the 2020 forecast. Turkey production is expected to be 0.8 percent less in 2020 than a year earlier, and in 2021, 1.3 percent above forecast production for 2020.

Source:  Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook  (ERS/USDA)

NBW Reports

Beef Balance Sheet


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Cattle Inventory Highlights
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Corn Progress By State
Estimated Weekly Meat Production
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Livestock Slaughter
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National Feeder Cattle Report
National Grain Report
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Quarterly Hogs & Pigs

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Red Meat By Production By State

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