Revised forecasts for U.S. beef production

Revised forecasts for U.S. beef production

U.S. beef production this year is expected to increase by 1% on 2007, while production in 2009 is expected to remain unchanged on 2008 volumes.

Although 2008 US beef production is predicted to be higher than a year ago, totalling 12.16 million tonnes cwt, forecasts published by the United States Department of Agriculture have been downgraded from estimates made earlier in the year, with lower expectations of production volumes during the third quarter.

During September, 1.03 million tonnes of beef was produced in the U.S., up 8% on the same time last year. Increases were exhibited for all cattle categories, with slaughter of steers up 3%, dairy cows 10% higher, and beef cows up 28%. Average carcase weights were relatively high at 358 kg, despite the rising proportion of cow slaughter relative to steers.

The rising costs of production, high grain prices and the financial market turmoil in the U.S. over the course of the year have prompted cattle producers to offload cattle and liquidate their cowherds.

Source: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)