Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 7/18/2016
CATTLE: A MID-YEAR REVIEW OF PRODUCTION AND PRICES

Looking back at the first six months of 2016 the one word summary for beef production is “growing” compared to a year ago, especially during May and June.  The first term that immediately comes to mind regarding cattle prices is “volatile”, especially in futures markets.  A close second price descriptor was “lower” year-over-year.


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U.S. TOTAL RED MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTION

For the first six months of 2016, domestic production of red meat and poultry was larger than posted in any prior year.  The prior record was set in 2008.  However, the rate of change year-over-year is the important market driver not the absolute level; the year-over-year increase for the first half of this calendar year was 2.9%.  For the 20 year period beginning in 1989 through 2008, record large U.S. total red meat and poultry production for the first six months of the year occurred 17 times.


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U.S. HAY UPDATE

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service published their first cut of 2016’s harvested hay acres in the June Acreage report.  NASS estimates total hay acres harvested to be up 3% year-over-year.  Alfalfa hay acres harvested are expected to be up 2%, compared to 2015, to 18.1 million acres.  Other hay (usually grass type hays) acres harvested is expected to be up 4% year-over-year, to 38.1 million acres. 


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