Beef production is looking to increase from original projections. The February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates saw the 2015 beef projection increase 390 million lbs. and the outlook for 2014 increased by 3 million lbs.
For the first quarter of 2015 beef production saw an increase over last year’s mark and compared to last month’s projection. The 2014 first quarter saw 5.868 billion lbs. of beef produced. The January 2015 report looked to drop off to 5.685 billion lbs., but the updated February outlook has jumped to 5.91 billion lbs.
Beef prices projections dropped for the first quarter of 2015 at $162.17/cwt for fed steers last month to $158.62/cwt. That continues a trend of decreasing live cattle prices with 2014 ending the fourth quarter at $165.60/cwt.
Imports have once again been slated to pick up since last month’s projection to help make up for the beef production deficient. The report indicates an additional 40 million lbs. will be brought into the U.S. in 2015 at 2.81 billion lbs. More beef imports keep coming in on the 2014 data. The year ended with 19 million lbs. of additional coming to the country for a total of 2.947 billion lbs. of beef imports.
Beef export projections remained dropped 75 million lbs. for 2015 with 2.450 billion lbs. predicted to leave the country. The West Coast port shutdown could be to blame for some of the export slow down.