According to the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, the forecasts for 2012 and 2013 red meat and poultry production are reduced from last month as higher feed prices are expected to slow the pace of pork and poultry expansion and temper growth in weights.

Beef production is forecast higher for 2012 as deteriorating pasture conditions are expected to increase placements in feedlots. USDA’s Cattle report, to be released on July 20 will provide an indication of the 2012 calf crop and producers’ intentions regarding heifer retention. Beef production is reduced slightly for 2013 as the earlier placement of calves in 2012 results in a small adjustment to early 2013 marketings.

Cattle carcass weights are raised for the first part of 2012, but placement of lighter-weight cattle in feedlots and the higher forecast cost of feed are expected to dampen weight growth in 2012 and 2013.

Beef imports are raised for 2012 as demand for processing beef remains strong and a strengthening of the U.S. dollar has helped support imports from Oceania. Beef exports are reduced from last month as exports have slowed. Strong pork exports in April support an increase in the 2012 forecast.

Pork imports are unchanged. Broiler and turkey exports for 2012 are raised based on current export demand. Beef, pork, and turkey trade forecasts for 2013 are unchanged from last month but the forecast of broiler exports is raised on expectations of continued strong demand.

Cattle, broiler, and turkey price forecasts 2012 are lowered from last month, but hog prices are raised.  For 2013, the cattle price is unchanged, but hog, broiler, and turkey prices are raised from last month on tighter supplies. The egg price forecast is raised as the production forecast is reduced.