CME: New All-time Highs in US Red Meat, Poultry Production

US - Last Thursday, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published their monthly "Livestock Slaughter" report with data for July, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.
calendar icon 28 August 2017
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USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published their monthly Livestock Slaughter report with data for July. To summarize, the report showed commercial red meat production for the month (same number of slaughter days as a year ago) up 3 per cent year-over-year, US commercial beef production was 2.11 billion pounds, up 4 per cent compared to a year ago while pork tonnage totaled 1.86 billion pounds (up 2 per cent from 2016’s).

Today we discuss the broader picture of total annual US red meat and poultry production, supply, and disappearance. That compilation is often cited as "record high", which is correct this year and last, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) forecasts that situation to persist through 2019.

However, production numbers need to be in context, which is often not done. Looking at the timeframe from 1960 through 2016 (56 years), 40 years set new all time highs in US red meat and poultry production. That is 71 per cent of the year's set new highs; records are the typical situation, not abnormal. The table below contains historical data from USDA and LMIC forecasts.

Interested readers can look at the details of annual imports and exports; we jump to the total domestic disappearance which tells a bit different story than production. Dividing disappearance by US population gives per person numbers.

We draw readers attention to retail weight (weight estimated at the meat counter in the grocery store) and boneless equivalent. Retail weight in 2017 is projected to be the largest since 2008, not record large. Much of the growth in production has been chicken, which in the retail meat case has much more bone than do red meats (see boneless equivalent in the table).

Further Reading

You can view the full Livestock Slaughter report by clicking here.

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