Grill Could Be “Center of Activity” To Boost Domestic Meat Demand

Livestock Markets 062320

The nation is pushing towards re-opening this week if it hasn’t already.

New York’s mid-Hudson region moved to a Phase III plan Tuesday, reopening for indoor dining. New York City entered Phase II, earlier in the week, reopening restaurants to outdoor dining.

Even though some Midwestern areas aren’t back to normalcy yet, some analysts believe meat demand will be strong. Ted Seifried, vice president and chief ag market strategist of Zaner Ag Hedge, believes domestic meat demand this summer could be stronger than what we’ve seen in previous years.

“I think demand is going to be really rather strong throughout the summer grilling season,” says Seifried.

He believes domestic demand will be ample during the summer as people want to get in their backyards and grill.

“We are tired of being in our houses and I think the grill is going to become the center of activity for us during the summer,” says Seifried.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) released its April export numbers earlier in the month. The federation says beef exports were below last April’s large totals but still topped $600 million in value. Pork exports remained well above year-ago levels but slowed from the record pace established in the first quarter.

“It’s nice to see the rest of the world coming in and making these purchases,” says Seifried. “If we keep that domestic demand strong and keep that export demand more up, I see that upside potential once we get this through this big supply that we have up front.”

The latest Cattle on Feed report shows U.S. inventories continue to stack up although things are improving. As of June 1, there were 11.7 million head on feed in the nation’s largest feedlots. That’s slightly less than last year but still the second highest June 1 Inventory since these records started. Marketings of fed cattle were 1.5 million head or 28% below last year. It’s the lowest since the series started in 1996. Analysts expect to start working through backlogs in July as slaughter capacity gets back to near normal levels.

Producers and analysts are also awaiting the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. It will be released later in the week. The last report showed the size of the nation’s hog herd before COVID-19 hit U.S. shores. That report showed the United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2020 was 77.6 million head, up 4% from March 2019.