USDA long-term projections for per capita meat consumption

by Editor
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The annual per capita consumption of meat and poultry will fall from 223 pounds in 2007 to a low of 213 pounds in 2012.

In its report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited production adjustments due to higher feed costs caused by ethanol production and gains in respective imports. Growth will resume after the low in 2012, but, at about 219 pounds in 2016, consumption will remain lower than in recent years.

Per capita beef consumption will decline through the first half of the projection period due to drought and higher feed costs. From 2013-2016, production and per capita beef consumption will increase due to the use of distillers grains in cattle rations.

Strong demand for consistent, high-quality beef will continue in the domestic hotel and restaurant market, and increasingly in the retail market. Beef export markets will also primarily demand high-quality beef.

Higher feed costs will lead to pork production reductions, which will combine with rising pork exports to drag per capita pork consumption down through 2011. Per capita pork consumption will gradually rebound over the remainder of the projection period.

Poultry prices will remain lower than red meat prices. But production gains will slow down and per capita consumption will decline for several years as returns diminish.