Produced by Sterling Marketing, Inc. and AMI, Meat & Poultry Facts is a compendium of livestock and meat industry information presented in 66 different charts, many featuring historical trend data. From domestic consumption and prices to international imports and exports, the book presents a sound foundation for analyzing and understanding key trends in the $325 billion meat and poultry industry.
In the forward to the publication, Sterling Marketing’s John Nalivka wrote, “Coming out of the 2012 drought, the old saying in the grain business that a ‘short crop has a long tail’ is certainly appropriate.” He noted that corn prices peaked at near $9 per bushel in late August 2012 and one year later in August 2013 toward $4 per bushel as the 2013 crop reached a record, and predicted that this year’s grain and feed prices are setting the tone for the next two to three years, a sharp departure from 2012.”
Nalivka also noted that the size of the U.S. cattle herd began 2013 at the lowest number in 60 years, but said the comparison ends there: “The current cattle herd will produce nearly three times as much beef as the nation’s herd in 1952 when calves accounted for one-half of the cattle slaughtered compared to only two percent now,” he noted. In addition to the slaughter mix, carcass weights of grain-finished cattle during 2013 continued to trend higher and for the year, will likely average over six pounds more than the record set in 2012.
Beef packer capacity was reduced by four percent during 2013 with the closure of a major plant but the promised remodeling and expansion of another will help offset the capacity loss, according on the Nalivka. On the pork side, the surfacing of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in the U.S. hog herd curtailed anticipated hog expansion driven by falling feed costs, and PEDv’s impact remained uncertain in 2014.