Remembering the Old Year; Looking Ahead to the New
Dr. Tom Troxel Dr. Michael L. Looper
It is difficult to come up with enough superlatives to describe the past year in the cattle market. It was a year, in many respects, of dramatic extremes. The fact that cattle numbers were historically small going into 2014 has been well-noted, so it is not necessary to rehearse all of the supply side facts and figures for the year here. Still, a couple of data points are worth pointing out. USDA’s latest estimate of 2014 beef production from the December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was just over 24.3 billion pounds. This would be the lowest annual beef production figure since 1993. At the same time, exports are projected to come in at almost 2.6 billion pounds, the second largest figure on record. On a per capita basis, domestic disappearance for 2014 is estimated to work out to 54.2 pounds per capita (retail weight). This will be the lowest per capita beef consumption since the early 1950s.
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