The USDA’s monthly estimate of annual beef production increased this month as higher fed cattle and cow slaughter rates and heavier carcass weights are expected to result in more beef.
The monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report (WASDE), released Monday, forecasts higher red meat and poultry production this year, led primarily by higher expectations for the beef industry as pork, broiler and turkey production is expected to fall lower.
As beef production increases for the remainder of the year, exports are likely to rise with stronger shipments to several markets. Beef imports for the United States have also been reduced as a result of the higher domestic production.
The USDA has not changed beef import or export numbers for 2014, compared to the previous month.
August projections for 2014 beef production is 25 million pounds higher as the USDA predicts larger marketings of cattle placed in the current year.
Fed cattle prices have been reduced from previous reports for the rest of the year and carrying over to 2014. With beef supplies higher than previously expected the price moves from the $124-$127 per cwt range to $123-$126 per cwt range for the rest of 2013. New projections for 2014 still increase over this year’s numbers, but the top end of the estimated prices have dropped a dollar lower, from $137 to $136 per cwt.
Overall livestock production is set to rebound as feed prices are considerably lower, making it cheaper to feed a larger operation. The limited beef supplies that remain pressured as producers retain animals to rebuild herds will raise beef prices, which may force consumers to seek alternative meat options at lower price points.