Beef production has been down in 2014, because the cattle coming out of feedlots have been below expectations. According the USDA’s most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, this has been offset by “higher expected dressed weights as lower feed costs and reduced heifer and cow slaughter boost weights.”

Tightness in supplies of fed cattle has upped the cattle price forecast for 2014 from last month’s forecast. The forecasted prices for 2015 hasn’t changed.

Beef production for 2015 is expected to be lower as “lower placements of cattle in the second half 2014 are expected to reduce supplies of fed cattle in 2015 despite heavier carcass weights,” the USDA said. The new projection for 2015 beef production is down to 23.64 billion pounds from over 24 billion pounds last month.

Beef imports for both 2014 and 2015 are higher. This is due to a strong consumer demand for processing grade beef, along with tight cull cow supplies, according to the USDA.

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