USDA Boosts Beef/Pork Production Expectations For This Year

The USDA now expects there will be more red meat in the U-S this year than it had forecasts a month ago.

The department says higher beef and pork production is expected to more than offset lower turkey production now expected this year.

It’s boosted it’s beef projection because of more cows being slaughtered and heavier carcass weights.

Higher than expected first quarter slaughter and expectations now of higher second half slaughter have boosted the department’s pork projections.

Along with those production forecast changes, the USDA has raised it’s projected average cattle prices but reduced it’s hog price projection.

Steer prices are now expected to average out between 160 and 167 dollars per hundredweight – a three dollar increase on the lower end of the range from last month.

U-S barrow and gilt prices are now expected to average out between 48 and 51 dollars per hundredweight, a drop of 5 dollars on the lower end, 6 dollars on the upper end.

The USDA says demand for fed cattle remains strong while greater pork production is expected to put downward pressure on hog prices.