Livestock Data Tools and APIs


The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Rule Act of 1999 mandated to produce and release to the public national reports pertaining to the marketing of cattle, swine, and lamb, as well as commodity breakdowns of such livestock. The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has been tasked with complying with The Act through its Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, Market News Communications System (MNCS).

This post talks about the USDA Daily Boxed Beef and USDA Daily Pork report. Then discusses how these reports are an essential tool for the Beef and Pork industry players to obtain greater clarity in an ever-dynamic, evolving marketplace, gather clues into forward demand, and potentially leverage to take control of their bottom line.

Overview of the Beef and Pork reports

Wholesale pork reporting as part of the USDA's Livestock Mandatory Reporting Program began in 2013 at the request of industry participants. USDA AMS publishes four daily and eight weekly pork reports from their Des Moines office by analyzing 8,000-10,000 records per day. These reports cover approximately 87% of total pork sales. The FOB plant prices are as reported by the packers at their dock before any freight or other transportation costs are added. The vast majority of the pork trade uses FOB plant prices for formulas and analyses.

The boxed beef report is released since 2001 twice per weekday, at 11:00 a.m. Central Time under report number LM_XB402 and at 3:00 p.m. under report number LM_XB403. The morning report covers market activity from 1:30 pm of the prior business day until 9:30 am of the current business day. The afternoon report is cumulative, including all market activity in the morning LM_XB402 plus all additional transactions between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. The boxed beef cutout provides an overall performance indicator for the fabricated beef industry

What is in the reports?

Both Pork and Beef reports contain selling price and quantities sold for carcass, primal and sub-primal cutouts and the current volume of meat in processing. An example of a primal and its sub-primal would be the loin and sub-primal boneless loin and backribs. All packers and cattle slaughtering firms are required to report the prices and quantities of all wholesale pork and beef sold prior to the established reporting times to USDA twice daily.

How does the industry use it?

The boxed beef and daily pork report are used differently by the different parts of the beef/pork industry (producers, packer/processors, and retailer/distributors). Producers look to see if beef/pork is moving well at higher prices which could provide them leverage in their negotiations with the packer. Retailers do the same thing but they look for a sluggish market with declining prices to provide them leverage. The packer/processor is caught in the middle but also looks for a negotiating advantage against the producer and the retailer. In short, all segments of the industry look to the cutout when they are trying to further their position in the marketplace.

Companies utilize the reports as a standard to gauge their overall performance, as well as that of their individual employees. If they can do better than what the average of the industry is, then they view that as a measure of success. The opposite is also true. Finally, some segments of the industry use the report as an impartial starting point on which to base formulations and contracts.

Data coverage and analysis

The Beef and Pork data provide selling prices and quantities sold for carcass, primal and sub-primal cutouts, and the current volume of meat in processing. This data can be used to perform various analysis which includes but not limited to:

  • Estimate the market trend by analyzing the reported load counts and cutout volumes to stay on top of the market situations.
  • Get an update on the price received and quantities sold for each primal and subprimal cutouts.
  • Analyze the seasonal and market trends in cutout prices and volumes with historical data dating back to 2001 and 2013 for Beef and Pork respectively.
  • Estimate future demand and obtain greater clarity of the ever-dynamic marketplace by analyzing strength or weakness in cutout sales to make better procurement decisions.

Accessing Beef and Pork data

Beef and Pork data is available through Barchart’s cmdty line of products. Get the latest Beef and Pork data delivered to your excel spreadsheet via cmdtyView Excel to create bespoke analyses. Barchart’s extensive data and the customizable delivery capabilities allow you to scale your workflows, build bespoke seasonal analysis, or develop products to make better decisions.

Learn more

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