U.S. beef cattle producers who have been struggling to stay in the black over the last year may see a bit of a recovery in this new year, partly due to a hoped for rebound in the general economy and due to efforts by those producers to cut the herd size.
USDA's Chief Economist Joe Glauber says that beef prices have gone up and are projected to go up, which will take steer prices with them. Glauber says beef output this year will drop 1.5% from 2009 and prices for meat products in general are expected to rise.
"So I think beef producers should see some increase there as well," Glauber says. "I know our own forecast we're looking at steer prices on the order of $89.50 a hundredweight."
Steers averaged just under $83 this past year so this would be an increase of about 8% in price. Feed and energy prices are not expected to go up much at all for the cattle industry so Glauber says there will be some recovery there as well.