Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook (April)

Beef/Cattle:   March slaughter was up volume-wise by 75 thousand head from a year ago totaling 2.940 million head, with one extra slaughter day relative to March 2020. Cow slaughter was higher than anticipated, while steer and heifer slaughter was lower. In addition, shifts in slaughter proportions, and February storms also had the effect of lowering carcass weights. As a result, the first-quarter beef production estimate was down 40 million pounds from last month. Fed cattle marketings were lowered in the first half based on the pace of slaughter and raised in the second half of the year. The annual beef production forecast for 2021 was increased 60 million pounds to 27.640 billion pounds. Strong gains in beef exports in February to South Korea and China could not offset losses to other key export markets. However, the export forecast remains unchanged from last month at 3.145 billion pounds.

Beef imports in February were weaker than expected on lower month over month and lower year over year imports from Australia and New Zealand. The beef import forecast was lowered by 35 to 2.900.Lamb/Sheep: Prices for lambs were unexpectedly high in March 2021. The first-quarter 2021 price of lambs was $165.42 per hundredweight (cwt). Lamb price forecasts for the rest of 2021 were raised by $1 per cwt from $160 to $161. Year-to-date imports and exports were lower than expected. Forecast imports and exports in this month’s report are all lower than those in the March 2021 report.

Dairy: All wholesale dairy product prices reported in the USDA National Dairy Product Sales Report(NDPSR) increased substantially from the week ending March 6 to the week ending April 3. The milk production forecast for 2021 has been raised to due to higher expected milk cow numbers and milk per cow. Dairy export forecasts for 2021 have been raised as international demand is expected to remain strong and the United States is expected to be price-competitive. The all-milk price forecast for 2021 has been raised to $18.40 per cwt, $0.65 higher than last month’s forecast.

Pork/Hogs: The March Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report showed March 1 inventories of market hogs and breeding animals below those of March 1 a year ago, as well as lower producer farrowing intentions for the spring (March-May) and summer (June-August) quarters. The winter pig crop and its accompanying litter rate were also year-over-year lower. Lower animal numbers and expectations for lower pig crops later in 2021 are reflected in lower year-over-year pork production in the third quarter (-1 percent below the third quarter of 2020) and in the fourth quarter (-2.5 percent below production in fourth quarter of 2020.) Currently, the March report’s year-over-year lower weight-class categories combine with continued-strong consumer pork demand to push 2021 hog price forecasts higher. Quarterly 2021 live equivalent 51-52 percent lean hog price forecasts average $65.68 per cwt, more than 52 percent higher than a year ago.

Poultry/Eggs: The first-quarter broiler production forecast was lowered on February data, while the second-quarter production forecast was increased on hatchery data. Both the broiler export forecast and price forecast were unchanged. The egg price forecast was reduced on lower-than-expected March prices, while the 2021 table egg production forecast was lowered on the size of the current layer flock as well as expectations for restraint in supply-side growth. The egg export forecast was increased on expectations for continued strong demand for shell eggs. The turkey production forecast was revised down in the first half of 2021 on recent production and placement data. Turkey export forecasts were revised up in first-quarter 2021. Turkey prices were adjusted up slightly on production decreases.

The Balance of Trade for U.S. Red Meats and Poultry in 2020

Over the past several years, the United States’ red meats and poultry products have run a trade surplus as the quantity exported has exceeded the quantity imported. The chart below illustrates the U.S. trade balance in red meats and poultry for 2020. By volume, broiler meat was the largest U.S. meat traded in 2020, accounting for 92 percent of total poultry exports and exceeding broiler imports by almost fifty-fold. Pork exports contributed toward the growth in the red meat trade surplus. In 2020, pork exports were seven-fold higher than pork imports, increasing 15.2 percent, or almost 1 billion pounds above a year earlier, on strong Asian demand for pork. In contrast, apart from 2018, the amount of beef imported by the United States has exceeded exports 7 of the last 8 years. Last year, U.S. beef exports declined 2.3 percent from a year ago, while beef imports rose 9.3 percent over the same period. This trade deficit reflects, in part, a robust demand for processing-grade beef. Turkey imports were up 75 percent and turkey exports were down 10.5 percent in 2020, with export levels resulting in a trade surplus for turkey. Other Chicken also had a trade surplus. Lamb imports are far greater than exports.

NBW Reports

Beef Balance Sheet


Cattle Inventory By State: This Year vs. Last Year
Cattle Inventory Highlights
Cattle Inventory:  Ranking Of States With The Most Cattle
Cattle on Feed
Cattle Slaughter By State
Cold Storage

Corn Balance Sheet

Corn Progress By State
Estimated Weekly Meat Production
Export Sales Highlights
Farms and Land in Farms Highlights
Livestock Comments
Livestock Slaughter
Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook
Milk Production By State
National Drought Monitor
National Feeder Cattle Report
National Grain Report
Natural Gas Weekly Update
Number Of Farms By State
Quarterly Hogs & Pigs

Price Projections For Steers, Hogs, Milk

Protein Production Estimates
Ranking Of States With The Largest Farms
Ranking Of States With The Most Farms
Ranking Of States With The Most Land In Farms
Red Meat By Production By State

Soybean Balance Sheet
Today's Weather

Top 25:  Largest Steer & Heifer Strings Sold Today
United States Ag Production Report
USDA Grain Stocks Report
USDA Prospective Plantings Report
WASDE: Feed Grain Outlook
WASDE: Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook
WASDE: Oilseed Outlook
WASDE: Wheat Outlook

Wheat Balance Sheet