USDA forecasts 5.4% decline in beef production for 2014

In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

The USDA recently forecast U.S. beef production to fall 5.4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 and to be as much as 6 percent lower in the second half of the year.   

Friday’s USDA cattle report showed new placements onto feedlots in December rose 1.0 percent year-over-year, as sky-high prices for finished cattle and cheaper feed prices improved margins for feedlot operators and attracted the uptick in placements.

However, total feedlot inven

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