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USDA’s steer price projection is up

The USDA’s projection of 1.5 percent beef production growth is not as much as previously anticipated. Outlook Board Chairman Seth Meyer says the lower estimate is for various reasons, such as more cows going to slaughter.

“And I think you’ve got lighter carcass weights,” said Meyer, in comments provided by the USDA, “as we’ve seen some cold temperatures which have impacted feed conversion in the Midwest and the Plains.”

2019 beef output is now projected to be 27.3 billion pounds, about 310 million pounds less than USDA’s last forecast. The price outlook for fed cattle is brighter because of strong demand.

“So you’ve got maybe some supply constraints in the beef market and demand, which has been quite solid,” said Meyer

The steer price estimate for the 2019 is $119.63 a hundredweight, $1.13 more than analysts were predicting last month, and $2.50 more than last year’s average.

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