A new report from Rabobank predicts the U.S. beef cattle herd will increase 1.6 to 2.2 percent over the next few years. The Rabobank U.S. Long-term Beef and Cattle Outlook report outlines the expanding beef production, which is expected to continue to meet the need for exports.
The U.S. beef cattle herd expansion started in 2014, following several years of decline and drought. Analysts with Rabobank say the expansion phase looks likely to continue into the year 2019, or 2020, as corn prices remain low and beef consumption increases. However, somewhere in 2020 to 2025,
Rabobank expects increased supplies of both beef and poultry to cause negative price pressure, making it difficult for producers to justify retaining more replacement heifers. With domestic consumption not able to keep up with production increases, exports will become more important, and imports should stay lower.
Rabobank is projecting the U.S. to be a net beef exporter from 2017 to 2025. And, because of more beef being exported, U.S. beef producers can expect more volatility in the future.