While beef production is set to increase by 1.5%, this is lower than previous growth predictions. Beef output is set to hit 27.3bn lb about 310m lb lower than previous forecasts, the USDA revealed.
World Agriculture Outlook board chair Seth Meyer said there were a number of reasons for this. “There are more cows in the slaughter mix and I think you have got lighter carcase weights,” he said. “And we have seen some cold temperatures, which have impacted feed conversion in the mid-west and the plains.”
However, the USDA said the impact could be positive, as it would mean higher steer prices in the country.
Meyer said this was down to the fact that beef supply was remaining “quite solid” and there were some supply constraints in the beef market
The Government department said that steer prices were expected to average US$119.63 per hundred weight, which is $1.13 more than analysts were forecasting a month ago. This is also $2.50 more than the average for 2018.
Earlier this month, the US Meat Export Federation revealed that exports to Korea increased by 30% year-on-year in volume to 239,676 metric tonnes and jumped in value by 43% to $1.75bn.