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World meat trade in a decline

By: Jake Putnam
Published in Video on  April 19, 2020

WASHINGTON--World Ag Outlook Chair Mark Jekanowski says USDA is forecasting a reduction in the global meat trade. Jekanowski points to anticipated production changes for the meat sector.

“Our meat production forecast will be pulled back a bit. Mainly based on lower steer and heifer slaughter and given the very low prices for cattle recently suggests that producers might be holding some cattle back from marketing.

Jekanowski says the USDA has increased its poultry production numbers a little bit.

“Broiler production pulled back quite a bit this month and this is after several consecutive months of increasing our production estimates for broilers but again, this time around from given the real collapse in demand, especially at the restaurants and foodservice level,” said Jekanowski.

Meanwhile, Jekanowski says a decrease in demand is affecting meat prices across the board:

“It's showing up as very large reduction compared to last month, and also these prices are down quite a bit from year to year if you look at them in 2020 compared to 2019. And that's the same for broilers and steers and hogs,” said Jekanowski.

While production may dip in the coming weeks, supply is not an issue red meat production even with the pandemic is still projected up 3 percent in 2020. But look for exports to be down:

“We pulled back our meat trade forecast for all the meat categories, beef pork broilers, turkey, reflecting softening global economic outlook and that's showing up in reduced export demand of our meat products,” said Jekanowski.

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