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USDA lowers production and trade forecasts for meat

The USDA has pulled back its forecasts for most U.S. meat production and trade.

World Ag Outlook board chairman Mark Jekanowski explains why they’ve reduced the beef production forecast, “Mainly based on lower steer and heifer slaughter and given the very low prices for cattle recently that also suggests that producers might be holding some cattle back from marketing.”

The USDA’s pork production numbers have increased a little but broiler production has been pulled back this month. Jekanowski says the collapse in demand from COVID-29 is affecting prices, compared to last month and last year, “These prices are down quite a bit, year over year, if you look at 2020 compared to 2019. And that’s the same for broilers, steers and hogs.”

And, he says, the USDA’s meat trade forecast for the major categories of beef, pork, broilers and turkey have been dialed back, “Reflecting softening global economic outlook and that’s just showing up in reduced export demand for our meat products.”

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