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Market Reports

Read new forecasts and indicators involving beef cattle and feed markets. Find out what factors are affecting prices.

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The initial forecast for 2020 commercial beef production is expected to set a record of 27.5 billion pounds, surpassing by almost 1% what is expected to be a record level in 2019. Total cattle slaughter is expected to be lower than 2019, as lower cow slaughter more than offsets higher fed cattle slaughter.

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The beef production forecast for 2019 was lowered slightly by 20 million pounds from the previous month’s forecast to 27.3 billion pounds. This adjustment is based on lower expected carcass weights partly offset by a greater anticipated number of cows to be slaughtered this year.

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The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its semiannual Cattle report on Feb. 28, which provided a snapshot of the U.S. cattle inventory on Jan. 1, 2019. The number of cattle and calves was estimated at 94.8 million head, about 0.5 percent above a year ago.

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USDA-AMS estimates U.S. beef production for the year to date to be down 1 percent year over year. Total cattle slaughter is up 0.7 percent so far this year over last year.

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The March Cattle on Feed report brings the feedlot data up to date and back on schedule following the federal government shutdown. February feedlot placements were 102.2 percent of last year.

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Normally, the cattle and beef production discussion in the February report would reflect cattle inventory data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cattle report in this month’s report. However, due to the government shutdown, the Cattle report was not to be released until Feb. 28.

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