Market Outlook

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, August 2019 (summary)

The United States Imported Fewer Swine and More Cattle in the First Half of 2019 Than in the Same Period of 2018

The United States is an important importer of live swine from Canada and of cattle from both Canada and Mexico. Almost all U.S. hog and pig imports are of Canadian origin. In the first half of both 2018 and 2019, about 85 percent of swine imports were animals for finishing; that is, young animals that are fed to slaughter weights, then processed in the United States. In the first 6 months of 2019, total U.S. imports of hog and pigs from Canada decreased 4.2 percent. U.S. finishing-animal imports were 4.9 percent lower in January to June of this year, likely due to stronger packer demand for hogs in Canada. However, first-half U.S. imports of hogs for immediate slaughter increased 2 percent, probably due to a recently opened slaughter plant with proximity to the Canadian border. Total first-half 2019 cattle imports increased 17.2 percent over a year earlier. About 63 percent of first-half imports were of Mexican origin, and 37 percent came from Canada. About two-thirds of total cattle imports were made up of young animals weighing 400-700 pounds, 92 percent of which were of Mexican origin, and slaughter-ready cattle, of which 99.5 percent came from Canada. Imports of cattle weighing 400-700 pounds increased more than 19 percent in the first half, likely due to attractive U.S. feeder cattle prices. Slaughter cattle imports increased 31.5 percent, due mostly to relatively stronger U.S. cattle prices.

Dairy: With cow numbers declining again in June and milk per cow falling short of estimates, the 2019 and 2020 milk production forecasts have been lowered from last month’s projections to 217.9 billion pounds (-0.3 billion) and 221.4 billion (-0.4 billion), respectively. Export forecasts have been lowered and import forecasts have been raised on both milk-fat and skim-solids bases for 2019 and 2020. Higher domestic use is expected to support domestic prices. The all-milk price forecast has been raised 10 cents in 2019 to $18.30/cwt, but lowered 5 cents to $18.80 for 2020.

See the July LDP Outlook report and previous reports.