The estimate of 2010 red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, reflecting higher production of beef, pork, broilers, and turkey. The forecast of production for 2011 is also raised for beef and broilers, but lowered for pork. The turkey production forecast is unchanged from last month. The increase in beef production reflects large placements of cattle during the fourth quarter of 2010 which will be ready for slaughter during mid-2011. USDA will release its Cattle report on January 28 providing an indication of producer intentions for heifer retention in 2011 and feeder cattle availability. Broiler production forecasts are adjusted to reflect relatively heavy bird weights.

Pork production is reduced slightly for 2011. USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report indicated that producers intend to farrow fewer sows in the first half of 2011 but continued strong growth in the number of pigs per litter implies relatively abundant supplies of hogs for slaughter will be available during 2011. Higher forecast hog weights will also partly offset the effects of lower farrowings on pork production, but recent increases in weights are not expected to be sustained during the year. The forecast of egg production is unchanged from last month.

The forecast for beef exports for both 2010 and 2011 is unchanged from last month but the forecast of beef imports is lowered as a weak U.S. dollar and tight supplies in several exporting countries limit shipments. The pork export forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are reduced slightly from last month as higher pork prices are expected to more than offset weakness in the U.S. dollar. The broiler export forecast is raised for 2010 but the 2011 forecast is unchanged from last month.

The cattle price forecast for 2011 is raised to reflect continued strong demand for cattle and tightening supplies of fed cattle. Hog prices for 2011 are forecast higher as demand for hogs remains strong. The broiler price forecast is lowered on larger supplies of broilers and competing meats. Egg prices are forecast higher.