The USDA’s April World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) project beef production lower for the remainder of 2013. Beef exports will be down from last year and imports higher due to short U.S. supplies. Projected cattle prices for 2013 are unchanged from last month, but higher than last year in every quarter.

The report projects total U.S. beef production at 24.8 billion pounds, down from 25.1 billion in the March estimates and 25.9 billion pounds in 2012.

The April report projects 2013 beef imports at 2.6 billion pounds, up from 2.5 billion in the March estimates and 2.2 billion in 2012. Beef exports, estimated at 2.42 billion pounds, are down from 2.44 billion in the March estimate and 2.45 billion in 2012.

The report pegs average fed-steer prices for the first quarter of 2013 at $125.52 per hundredweight. Projected prices for the rest of the year are $124 to $130 for quarter two, $125 to $135 for quarter three and $127 to $137 for quarter four. The report projects and annual average price range of $125 to $132 per hundredweight, unchanged from last-month’s estimate, but up from $122.86 for 2012.

View the full WASDE report from USDA.