Following two Congressional hearings on the beef and cattle markets largely focused on prices producers receive for their cattle, the North American Meat Institute says the latest USDA annual report on livestock income clears up misconceptions about the state of cattle markets and shows cash receipts for the sale of cattle and calves increased 16%, from $63.1 billion in 2020 to $72.9 billion in 2021.
"As our members said in their testimony, prices are improving for cattle producers due to supply and demand reflecting the cyclical nature of cattle production," says Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. "Due to the shrinking herd and sustained consumer demand, cattle prices are at seven-year-highs without federal intervention in the market."
Cattle prices today are the highest they have been since the record highs in 2014 and 2015, when the overall cattle herd was at its smallest since 1952 (for context, that was during the Truman Administration). Those record prices incentivized rapid herd expansion among producers which led in part to the oversupply of cattle in 2020.
The report, compiled by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, is the Meat Animals Production, Disposition and Income 2021 Summary. It says, "Cash receipts from marketings of cattle and calves increased 16%, from $63.1 billion in 2020 to $72.9 billion in 2021. All cattle and calf marketings totaled 61.4 billion pounds in 2021, up 4% from 2020.”
The report also breaks down cattle revenue by state. Many states' producers saw increases higher than the nationwide aggregate of 16%. For example: Nebraska's producers' earnings grew 18%, Montana 22%, Kansas 18%, Kentucky 21%, North Dakota 28% and South Dakota 26%.
"More and more data are showing that while the industry had to overcome significant challenges in 2020, markets behaved predictably," says Potts. "As our members told Congress, the markets will continue to improve for producers."
Source: North American Meat Institute, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.