In 2016, the United States is expected to export 16% of total red meat and poultry production and 17% of dairy production (on a skim-solids milk-equivalent basis). Last year, comparable export shares were 15% for red meat and poultry and 18% for dairy.

Forecasts for 2016 production and trade—updated to reflect January 2016 data—show that export shares of production for beef, pork, broilers, and turkey will each be slightly higher than in 2015 and lower for dairy.

While each category of red meat, broiler, and turkey production is forecast to increase this year, rates of export growth are expected to be greater, increasing export shares of production, across the board.

Dairy production is expected to increase, but exports are expected to decline from 2015, causing dairy’s export share of production to be lower than last year. 

Pork\Hogs: First-quarter commercial pork production is expected to be almost 2% larger than a year ago. Hog prices, though seasonally increasing as hog slaughter numbers ease, are forecast at $45-$46 per cwt for the first quarter, about 6% lower than in the same period of 2015. The U.S. dollar exchange rate is expected to be a key determinant of U.S. pork trade flows again in 2016. January pork exports were larger than a year earlier, when labor disputes hindered exports from West Coast ports, but almost 14% below shipments in January 2014. January pork imports were almost 7% above a year ago. With the repeal of country of origin labeling legislation in December, in January live swine imports from Canada increased 3%, year over year. 

Cattle/Beef: Fall and winter precipitation were sufficient to maintain wheat and other pasture through the winter, resulting in large numbers of feeder cattle currently being marketed. At the same time, volatile prices and heavy cattle-feeding losses have motivated cattle feeders to resist taking lower fed cattle prices, while lackluster beef demand has reduced packer enthusiasm for fed cattle, exerting downward pressure on fed cattle prices that is not quite offsetting the upward pressure from cattle feeders.

Cattle/Beef Trade: U.S. cattle imports are expected to decline further in 2016 due to smaller exportable supplies of cattle in Mexico and Canada, and the current 2016 forecast has been lowered an additional 75,000 head to 1.825 million head.

Dairy: The all-milk price forecast for 2016 has been lowered to $14.95-$15.55 per hundredweight (cwt), a reduction from the $15.30-$16.00 per cwt forecast last month. Forecasts have been raised for imports and lowered for exports. 

Poultry: The forecast for first-quarter broiler production was raised due to strong production data. The first-quarter forecast for ending stocks was revised down on recent declines in total broiler meat in cold storage. Whole-broiler price forecasts were lowered as recent prices have remained weaker than expected. Turkey meat production for 2016 is forecast to total 6.0 billion pounds, an increase of 65 million pounds from the previous estimate. With higher production, turkey cold storage holdings at the end of first-quarter 2016 were increased to 375 million pounds. Table egg production in January was 584 million dozen, down 7% with a smaller flock and a lower rate of lay. Table egg production is forecast at 1.7 billion dozen in first-quarter 2016, 4% lower than the previous year, but production is forecast to be higher than the previous year during the remainder of 2016.

Poultry Trade: Broiler, turkey, and egg shipments in January 2015 remained down from a year ago. Broiler shipments totaled 496 million pounds, a decrease of 6% from a year earlier. January turkey shipments decreased 35% from a year ago, totaling 34 million pounds, while egg and egg product exports totaled 19 million dozen, shell-egg equivalent, a 43% decrease from the previous January.