Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 9/20/2019
FEMALE BEEF SLAUGHTER SURGES AHEAD

     Year to date slaughter figures for federally inspected released beef cows and heifers have put up heavy numbers this year.  Federally inspected heifers are up 7.0% from a year ago in data released January through August while beef cow slaughter is up 1.9%.  Combined, this indicates that total female beef cow slaughter is up 5.7%.


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RANGE AND PASTURE CONDITION TRENDS DIVERGE ON REGIONAL BASIS

     Range and pasture conditions have been some of the best in several decades when evaluated on a national basis.  At the national level, pasture and range ratings are compiled weekly by USDA-National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) for the Lower 48 States over the months from May to October.  Monthly averages for an index derived from those ratings by LMIC have been at high levels, similar to ratings seen in 2010.


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DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST IN AUSTRALIA; POTENTIAL FOR U.S. BEEF EXPORTS

     On September 6, 2019, USDA FAS released a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report on Australia’s cattle and hog sectors.  Although the forecast provided is not official USDA statistics, the report does provide valuable, boots-on-the-ground, insights into current Australian livestock conditions from USDA’s Post based in Canberra.  Australia continues to struggle with drought conditions throughout most of the country which has led to a contracting cattle herd size.  The most recent peak of 29.3 million head was in 2014, but the USDA GAIN report has 2019 pegged at 25.73 mil


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