According to the USDA's latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the 2013 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, reflecting greater beef, pork, broiler, and turkey production. Beef production is raised from last month based primarily on heavier carcass weights.

USDA will release its Cattle report on February 1, providing an indication of producer intentions for heifer retention in 2013 and feeder cattle availability.

USDA’s December 28 Quarterly Hog and Pigs report estimated that the pig crop for the last half of 2012 was about the same as 2011, while indicating producers plan to farrow 1 percent fewer sows the first half of 2013 relative to 2012. However, continued growth in pigs per litter in 2013 is expected to more than offset the decline in intended farrowings.

Coupled with slightly higher expected carcass weights, the 2013 pork production forecast is raised from last month.

Broiler production is raised as higher forecast broiler prices and lower forecast soybean meal prices are expected to enhance sector profitability. Hatchery data are pointing toward higher-than-previously forecast production and bird weights have increased. Turkey production is higher based on current hatchery data and expectations of lower soybean meal costs. The egg production forecast is raised on hatchery data.

Estimates for 2012 beef and pork production are raised slightly based on late-year production data, but the estimates for poultry are unchanged. The forecast for beef exports in 2012 is raised based on recent trade data but is unchanged for 2013. The import forecast is lowered for both 2012 and 2013 as global supplies of beef are expected to remain relatively tight.

Pork export forecasts for 2012 and 2013 are raised from last month based on expected greater availability of pork and continued firm demand. Broiler export forecasts in 2012 and 2013 are unchanged from last month.

Turkey export forecasts for both 2012 and 2013 are higher this month. Cattle prices for first-quarter 2013 are raised, reflecting current demand conditions for fed cattle. Hog prices for 2013 are forecast lower based on larger expected hog supplies. Broiler prices for 2013 are raised from last month on expected demand strength. Turkey prices are lowered as production is forecast higher. Egg prices are lowered from last month. Prices for 2012 are adjusted to reflect reported December estimates.