7/29 – In July’s Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook, the USDA said total red meat and poultry output in the first half (H1) of 2019 was 1.3% above that of a year ago. Beef output was up just 0.2% in H1. More heifers in the slaughter mix (up 7.2% in H1) helped pull down slaughter weights and indicates that the cattle expansion cycle is ending. Broiler output is also weak, up just 0.9% in H1 2019 compared to H1 2018. Conversely, pork producers are anticipating a jump in exports as a result of African Swine Fever, which decimated China’s hog herd. Pork output was up 3.6% in H1 and is forecast to jump by 6.4% in H2 2019. Steer prices are forecast to average $115.50/cwt in 2019 and $119.00 in 2020, vs $117.12 in 2018. Hogs are projected at $51.50/cwt in 2019 and $59.00 in 2020, vs $45.93 in 2018. Broilers look to be $88.00/cwt in 2019 and $94.00 in 2020, vs $97.80 in 2018.