Market Outlook


Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: September 2020



January-July 2020 Most Meat and Dairy Imports Up, Pork Imports Lower, Compared to Same Period Last Year

U.S. imports of meat and dairy in the January-July period were mixed compared to the same period last year. Imports of beef, lamb and mutton, and dairy increased, while pork imports declined. Beef imports increased 8.5 percent from January through July. Of major foreign beef suppliers to the United States, imports from Australia and Canada declined, while those from New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, and Nicaragua increased. Imports of pork declined almost 12 percent, mostly on lower imports from Poland. Lower lamb imports from both Australia and New Zealand were more than offset by higher imports of mutton from these two countries. Combined lamb and mutton imports increased 6.7 percent. The 2.4-percent increase in dairy imports was mostly due to higher imports of butterfat products—butter, anhydrous milkfat, and high-fat dairy spreads.

Beef/Cattle: The pace of cattle slaughter continues to improve as slaughter plants adjust to protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19. An expected increase in second-half 2020 slaughter raises the production forecast for this year. The faster pace of slaughter in 2020 pulled steer and heifer slaughter forward in 2021. This increased the production forecast for first-quarter 2021, but reduced production was forecast for subsequent quarters on fewer fed cattle supplies and lower carcass weights due to higher expected feed prices. The cattle prices for the rest of this year are unchanged from last month, but 2021 cattle prices were raised on a lower production forecast for next year. The forecast for beef imports in second-half 2020 was raised on sustained demand for processing-grade beef. This raised the annual 2020 import forecast 7 percent above last year. The import forecast for 2021 was unchanged, as were the export forecasts for 2020 and 2021.

See the LDP Outlook.

Last updated: Thursday, September 17, 2020

For more information, contact: Russell Knight