CoBank Says U.S. Protein Demand Uncertain in 2019

Beef, chicken, and pork supplies are expected to continue their expansion from 2018 levels. 
However, CoBank says domestic and international demand bring a lot more uncertainty this year. 
A new report from CoBank says overall U.S. animal protein production climbed by 2.5 percent last year. 
Pork led the way at three percent. Per capita, U.S. protein consumption has grown by nine percent since 2014. 
This year is expected to test the record set back in 2006, potentially coming in at one percent higher than the current record. 
However, CoBank says price weakness in chicken and pork reflects what it calls “fatigue” among U.S. consumers, which means supplies are likely to continue to climb even higher. 
The bank says trade issues remain a wildcard for animal protein markets overseas. 
Trade negotiations with Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and Korea could dominate opportunities for U.S. protein producers, especially considering that the talks with China and Japan are currently ongoing. 
Trade flows with Canada and Mexico are still up in the air and awaiting U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement ratification by all three countries. 
If it’s not approved by all three participants, that means trade flows with Canada and Mexico would be interrupted.