USDA: Lower beef production projection on tighter cattle supplies

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Total U.S. red meat and poultry production in 2014 is projected to be above 2013 as higher pork and poultry production more than offsets declines in beef production.

Tighter cattle supplies and potential heifer retention during late 2013 and into 2014 are expected to limit cattle available for placement, thereby reducing fed cattle slaughter in 2014. Lower cow numbers and herd rebuilding will also limit non-fed beef production.

Pork production is forecast to increase more rapidly than in 2013 as lower forecast feed costs provide incentives for producers to expand farrowings and increase carcass weights from 2013 levels.

Broiler and turkey production are forecast higher as lower forecast feed prices encourage expansion despite lower poultry prices. Egg production for 2014 is forecast to expand as producers respond to lower feed costs.

The total red meat and poultry production forecast for 2013 is lowered from last month as lower pork, broiler, and turkey production more than offsets greater beef production.

Higher cattle placements are expected to support higher fed beef production and cow slaughter has remained relatively high. However, recent winter storms have affected cattle weights which are lowered slightly from last month.

Pork production is down marginally on lower forecast slaughter in the second of half of 2013. Broiler production is lowered on hatchery and chick placement data to date, while turkey production is cut on lower poult placements.

Continued year-over-year declines in U.S. beef production are expected to push beef exports lower in 2014. Pork exports are expected to rebound in 2014 as supplies increase and demand improves.

Broiler exports are forecast higher on expanded supplies and moderating prices. Beef imports are expected to be higher in 2014 as U.S. cow slaughter declines and domestic non-fed beef supplies tighten. Pork imports are forecast up fractionally from 2013.

The 2013 red meat export forecast is lowered from last month, largely due to lower expected pork exports. The beef forecast is adjusted to reflect lower first-quarter exports.

Poultry exports are raised as higher broiler exports more than offset lower turkey exports.

For 2014, cattle prices are forecast to rise above 2013 as supplies continue to tighten. Hog prices are forecast to be slightly lower than 2013 on higher production.

Broiler, turkey, and egg prices are forecast to be below 2013 as production expands. Cattle price forecasts for 2013 are unchanged from last month.

Hog prices are down fractionally from last month on weaker second quarter prices. Broiler prices are forecast higher as prices remain strong.



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