USDA’s Meat Trade and Price Forecasts

USDA recently released data on U.S. meat exports through February and their price projections for the remainder of the year. World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman Mark Jekanowski explains there were just slight adjustments to the meat export forecast.

“In all cases, we raised our export forecasts across all the species: beef, pork, broilers, and turkey. We also raised our beef import forecast by 75 million pounds. And that too is consistent with the strong prices that we’ve been seeing in the US and strong demand for beef. Year-over-year, beef imports would be up about 109 million pounds.”

Jekanowski says they’ve increased their steer price forecast by $2.97 per hundredweight this month.

“So, now forecast at $164.73 per hundredweight, and this is a continuation of a pretty long-standing trend that we’ve seen for some time now. Just strong beef demand and tightening supplies, especially tighter supplies later in the year.”

Hog prices though are moving in the opposite direction. Jekanowski calls it a fairly significant cut to their hog price forecast.

“We lowered it by $4.79 per hundredweight, and that just largely reflects what we’ve been seeing in the market in terms of observed cash prices suggesting relatively weak demand. And we know that packer margins have been tight as well. So, packers aren’t bidding as high for hogs and that is putting pressure on hog prices.”

You can take a look at the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook for this month from USDA’s Economic Research Service by clicking the link.

Source: USDA Radio

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