Wholesale Beef Production to Rise for 2018
The USDA is forecasting a 2-3 percent growth in U.S. beef production for 2018. This forecast is based on 2016 results as well as the 2017 calf crops projected to support that increase. In 2017, the commercial beef production was up 6% over the same period in 2016. The average cattle weight has been on decline, causing cattle prices to rise slightly.
Higher-fed cattle is having a positive effect on 4th quarter U.S. wholesale beef exports and expected to lift production for 2018. Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Australia are the major contenders in the wholesale beef market, where Australia has been the greatest global market competitor since late 2015.
Wholesale Pork Production Forecast
Wholesale pork production is forecast to grow 4% in 2018 in the U.S. and 2% globally. Major expansion in China is fueling the growth and is expected to account for 61% of the overall wholesale pork production increases. The EU is the only major pork producer forecasting a reduction in production. This is largely due to lower domestic and export demand as well as the appreciation of the Euro.
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