Domestic beef demand was up 8 per cent in May, but foreign demand was down 9 per cent, writes Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.
During the first five months of the year, beef imports were up 37.3 per cent and exports were down 9.5 per cent compared to January-May 2014.
The latest USDA WASDE report cut expected 2015 beef production by 0.8 per cent and increased 2016 production by 0.5 per cent. They now predict 1.8 per cent less beef this year than last and 4.3 per cent more beef in 2016 than this year. They expect fed cattle prices to average close to $160/cwt both this year and next.
Fed cattle futures were lower this week. The feeder cattle contracts are of the same trend: August down $5.70 for the week, October is down $2.32 from the previous week.
US beef imports were up 24.8 per cent in May with large increases in imports from Australia, Uruguay, Brazil and Mexico. May beef exports were down 14.4 per cent compared to 12 months earlier. There were big declines in exports to Mexico, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada.