USDA raises beef production on heavier carcass weights

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The USDA's latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showed that the 2013 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month as higher beef, broiler, and turkey production is expected to more than offset lower forecast pork production.

Beef production is raised from last month largely due to heavier expected carcass weights. Steer and heifer slaughter is reduced for the first quarter, but cow slaughter is raised. Pork production is reduced based on lower slaughter in the first quarter. The broiler production forecast is raised as producers are expected to respond to stronger forecast first-half broiler prices and lower projected second-half feed meal prices.

Turkey production is forecast higher on heavier bird weights and slightly higher slaughter. Egg production is raised based on hatchery data. Poultry and egg production for 2012 is adjusted to reflect revisions in production data.

The beef export and import forecasts for 2013 are lowered based on slower-than-expected shipments in January.

Pork exports are lowered from last month as export demand has softened. The broiler export forecast is unchanged from last month.

Changes in estimates for 2012 trade reflect December data. Cattle prices for 2013 are lowered from last month, reflecting slightly weaker demand for fed cattle into the second quarter of the year. Hog and broiler price forecasts are unchanged from last month.

Forecast broiler prices are raised in the first half on strong demand, but are reduced in the second half on production increases. Turkey prices are lowered on greater production. Egg price forecasts are unchanged.



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