CME: Red meat, poultry export and import forecasts for 2018 unchanged

US - Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December 2017, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.
calendar icon 17 January 2018
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Prices of a limited number of meat and poultry packaged items are collected from retail establishments by BLS. USDA’s Economic Research Service uses those retail cut prices to derive estimated monthly beef and pork prices. The ERS data are available here.

ERS calculates two beef prices, one just using the Choice cut prices collected by BLS and the second is "All Fresh", which includes Select beef and ground products. Note that the All Fresh series is preliminary as it is revised monthly.

The December Choice retail beef price was $5.80 per pound, that was essentially unchanged compared to November’s and up 18 cents year-over-year. For December, the preliminary All Fresh beef price was 5.69 per pound, rising 7 cents for the month and was 17 cents above 2016’s.

December’s retail pork price was $3.74 per pound, down about 5 cents for the month and 16 cents higher than a year earlier. ERS put December’s composite (summation of parts) chicken price at $1.90 per pound. That was 2 cents higher month-over-month and up 6 cents from a year ago.

USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board released their monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) last Friday morning (the report is here). Also, NASS released their Crop Production 2017 Summary with updated (essentially finalized) national and state-level crop acreages and yields.

Regarding livestock and poultry, the WASDE had minor production changes compared to the prior report. US beef production for 2018 was increased 0.6 per cent, pork was raised by 0.2 per cent, and broiler output was upped by 0.4 per cent.

Export and import forecasts for 2018 were not changed. Importantly, US tonnage exported of beef, pork, broilers, and turkey are all forecast to increase in 2018 compared to 2017’s. USDA increased both their live slaughter steer (5-Market average) and hog annual price forecasts for 2018.

At $118.25 per cwt. their steer price forecast was $1.00 above last months. The 2018 live hog price was forecast at $47.75 per cwt., up $0.25 from the prior report. Still, their forecasts call for year-over-year declines (down $3.27 per cwt. for steers and dropping $2.75 for barrows and gilts).

NASS kept 2017’s US corn production about unchanged. However, corn acreage harvested was lowered and yield per acre raised. The yield was increased by just over 1 bushel per acre from the previous estimate to 176.6 bushels. The national average soybean yield for 2017 was lowered slightly to 49.1 bushels per acre.

Below is our compilation from various USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (Market News) reports for last week (DATA ARE PRELIMINARY). That table also includes two chicken items reported by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) — weekly eggs set in incubators and chicks placed into growing houses. The historical data for those two items were for 19-states, in January 2013, they added US totals. As of 1 January 2018, only the US totals are being reported.

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