The 2012 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, largely reflecting increased pork production. Beef production is little changed from last month although adjustments are made to the quarters. USDA will release its Cattle report on January 27, providing an indication of producer intentions for heifer retention in 2012 and feeder calf availability. USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report estimated that the second-half 2011 pig crop was just over 2 percent higher than 2010 and indicated that producers plan a slight decline in sows farrowing in the first half of 2012. However, with continued gains in pigs per litter, more hogs are expected to be available for slaughter and the 2012 pork production forecast is raised from last month. Poultry production forecasts are unchanged. Egg production is lowered slightly for 2012. For 2011, small changes are made, with beef and pork production estimates raised, but broiler and turkey estimates lowered. The egg production estimate is unchanged.

Trade forecasts for beef, pork, broilers, and turkeys are unchanged for 2012. Beef, pork, and turkey estimates for 2011 are unchanged but broiler exports are raised due to stronger-than-expected shipments in October.

Cattle prices for 2012 are unchanged from last month. The annual average hog price is lowered reflecting a lower first-quarter price forecast. The first-quarter broiler price is raised but the annual price range is unchanged. Turkey and egg prices are raised from last month. Prices for 2011 are adjusted to reflect December estimates.