As Producers Boost Livestock Output, Prices Will Soften
Cattle, hog, and broiler chicken producers should expect lower market prices during the first half of 2018 than they saw during the first six months of this year, said USDA economists. “With the exception of lamb and eggs, larger year-over-year product supplies are accompanied by lower prices,” said the agency’s monthly Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook.
For cattle, the disparity is marked — a projected 5% increase in beef production with prices running 7% below the same period this year.
“Higher first-half 2018 pork production … derives mostly from expected higher second-half 2017 pig crops,” with production up by 4%, said the USDA. “Consequently, hog prices are forecast to fall 2.4% below those in the first half of 2017. Broiler production is forecast to rise marginally, but prices would be down by 7%. Although lamb production is forecast to fall slightly, prices will drop by 9%.”
Overall, U.S. meat production is forecast to increase by 3% in 2018, pushing per capita meat consumption to 222.2 pounds for the year, a 5.3-pound increase from this year.