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Monday, June 26, 2017
USDA AMS May 2017 Economic Landscape Report. For more details click here: http://www.ams.usda.gov/services/market-research/aad.


With one less slaughter day, April 2017 beef production was slightly below 2016 and 13 percent below the March level at 1.96 billion pounds. Cattle slaughter was up 2 percent, at 2.46 million head, and down 11 percent on a monthly basis. The average live weight was down 23 pounds from last year, to 1,325 pounds. January to April 2017 commercial beef production was up 5 percent from last year. Veal production totaled 5.8 million pounds, 3 percent below last April, and down 10 percent from March. At 39,000 head, calf slaughter was up 12 percent from the year before and down 13 percent monthly. The average live weight was down 36 pounds from last year, at 257 pounds. Year to date veal production was down 4 percent. Total stocks of beef in freezers at the end of April were 1 percent below March, and down 2 percent from the April 2016. Boneless beef in cold storage was 2 percent lower than the month before, and 4 percent lower than last year. Beef cut supplies were up 3 percent monthly and up 22 percent from year earlier levels. Veal stocks in cold storage were down 5 percent on a month-to-month basis but up 148 percent year-over-year.


Live cattle prices (FOB, steers and heifers) reached a year-todate high of $145 per cwt in early May before retreating to $130 per cwt, 4 percent above last year’s price. The Choice beef cutout value spiked $28 to $248 per cwt by mid-month before closing at $246 per cwt, 9 percent above the 2016 value. The 90 percent lean boneless beef price broke the pattern of tracking the 2016 price, rising to $13 to $231 per cwt, up 6 percent from last year. The 50 percent lean trim price nearly doubled by mid-month to $201 per cwt, a 2017 peak, before falling back to $167 per cwt, 113 percent above the 2016 level. Non packer-owned veal carcasses fell $1 to $306 per cwt, while packer-owned veal carcasses rose $2 to $301 per cwt, both 11 percent below 2016. The veal cutout average remained at $435 per cwt, as it has since February, 18 percent below last year’s value.


Compared to April 2016, beef and veal exports (including variety meats) increased 13 percent to 100 thousand MT and the export value rose 14 percent to $550 million. The export volume and value were down 5 and 6 percent, respectively from March. The first four months’ beef export volume rose 14 percent from last year, and 18 percent in value. Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong were our largest export markets in April. Year-over-year beef import volumes were down 7 percent to 88 thousand MT, and down 13 percent in value to $441 million. Compared to March, beef imports were 7 percent lower and value was down 5 percent. Year-to-date imports of beef and veal are 10 percent lower in volume and 15 percent lower in value than in 2016. Australia, Canada and Mexico were the largest importers of beef to the U.S.