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Thursday, July 27, 2017
USDA AMS July 2017 Economic Landscape Report. For more details click here: http://www.ams.usda.gov/services/market-research/aad.


May beef production was 2.16 billion pounds, 6 percent above 2016, with one more operating day, and up 10 percent from the month before. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.75 million head, up 9 percent from May 2016 and 12 percent from April this year. The average live weight was down 26 pounds from the previous year, at 1,307 pounds. Year-to-date beef production is up 5 percent from 2016. Veal production in May totaled 6.3 million pounds, up 6 percent from last May, and 9 percent from April. Calf slaughter, at 39,300 head, was up 11 percent from May 2016 and 1 percent from April. The average live weight was down 11 pounds from last year, at 276 pounds. Accumulated veal production for 2017 was down 2 percent from last year. Total stocks of beef in freezers at the end of May were 10 percent below April, and down 11 percent from the May 2016. Boneless beef in cold storage was 9 percent lower than the month before, and 11 percent lower than last year. Beef cut supplies were down 18 percent monthly and were 3 percent below 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) fell $17 from the start of June, ending at $119 per cwt, a price below the 2016 level (by 3 percent) for the first time since April. The Choice beef cutout value lost $20 from the mid-month high of $251 per cwt, but remained 3 percent above the 2016 value. The 90 percent lean boneless beef continued its steady uphill climb, gaining $4 to end at $232 per cwt, up 6 percent from last year. Despite a $53 collapse in value, the 50 percent lean trim price ended 27 percent over last year, at $111 per cwt. Non packerowned veal carcasses remained through the month around $307 per cwt, while packer-owned veal carcasses added $4 to close at $305 per cwt, both 7 percent below 2016. The veal cutout average again held at $435 per cwt, as it has since February, 17 percent below last year’s value.


Compared to May 2016, beef and veal exports (including variety meats) increased 6 percent to 105 thousand MT and the export value rose 9 percent to $583 million. The export volume and value were both 6 percent higher than in April. The first five months’ beef export volume rose 12 percent from last year, and was up 15 percent in value. Japan, South Korea and Canada were our largest export markets in May. Beef import volumes were down 4 percent from 2016 to 95 thousand MT, and down 3 percent in value to $499 million. Compared to April, beef imports were 7 percent higher and value 13 percent higher. Year-to-date imports of beef and veal volumes were down 9 percent and value was down13 percent from 2016. Canada, Australia and New Zealand were the largest importers of beef to the U.S.