U.S. beef production for 2015 is forecast to be higher thanks to increasing carcass weights. The January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates saw the production 2015 projection increase 160 million lbs. while the outlook for 2014 dropped by 5 million lbs.
For the first quarter of 2015 beef production is projected to be down compared to last year’s mark. The 2014 first quarter saw 5.868 billion lbs. of beef produced while 2015 looks to drop off to 5.685 billion lbs.
Beef prices projections remained unchanged for the first quarter of 2015 at $162.17/cwt for fed steers. That’s still a drop off of where 2014 ended during the fourth quarter at $165.60/cwt.
Imports have been slated to pick up since last month’s projection to help make up for the beef production deficient. The report indicates an additional 70 million lbs. will be brought into the U.S. in 2015. More beef was also imported to end 2014 than anticipated. The year ended with 80 million lbs. of additional coming to the country for a total of 2.928 billion lbs. of beef imports.
Beef export projections remained unchanged for 2015 with 2.525 billion lbs. predicted to leave the country.