Market Outlook

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, July 2017


Increases in 2018 Red Meat and Poultry Per Capita Disappearance Largely Due to Strong Production Forecasts Next Year

Positive changes in 2018 per capita beef, pork, and poultry disappearance are expected to be driven largely by production increases, but also by changes in trade. Lamb and mutton per capita disappearance is expected to decline 1.7 percent, however, due to a small decline in production and a small increase in exports. For beef, the 1.3-percent increase in per capita disappearance to 57.9 pounds is the result of a 2.2-percent increase in the 2018 production forecast, together with stronger beef imports (2.9 percent larger than the 2017 forecast) and a 1.9-percent increase in beef exports. The 1.7-percent change in the pork per capita in 2018—to 50.9 pounds, the largest per capita disappearance since 2004—is expected even though exports are forecast to increase 3.8 percent next year. The current pork industry expansion, with production next year expected to increase 3.5 percent, drives the expected increase in per capita pork disappearance. The broiler per capita disappearance increase—1.3 percent to 91.3 pounds—is due to anticipated production growth of 1.9 percent plus a small increase in exports (+0.8 percent, year over year). The turkey per capita in 2018 is expected to increase 1.1 percent to 17 pounds. The increase derives from larger production—1.9 percent over the 2017 turkey production forecast. The increase in turkey per capita is anticipated even though turkey exports are expected to increase 7.8 percent in 2018. The strong increase derives from the continued recovery of exports, after the sharp decline in 2015 due to disease problems.

Cattle/Beef: Fourth-quarter commercial beef production is expected to be 7.0 billion pounds, and beef production for the year is revised upward slightly to 26.5 billion pounds, or 5 percent above last year. Prices for 1,100-1,300 pound Choice steers are expected to average $117-$121 per hundredweight (cwt) for the third quarter and $113-$121 per cwt for the fourth quarter. Forecasts for U.S. beef imports in 2017 and 2018 are revised upward by 30 million and 45 million pounds, respectively. U.S. beef exports are forecast higher by 10 million pounds in 2017 and up 35 million pounds in 2018.

The July LDP Outlook report and previous reports are available here