The forecast for total meat production for 2015 is raised from last month on increased beef and pork production. Poultry production forecasts are unchanged. Beef production is raised on higher carcass weights.

USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report indicated farrowings increased 3 per cent in September-November 2014 and that producers intend to expand farrowings by 4 percent during December-May 2015. The report also showed that pigs per litter was record high for the September-November period; continued growth in pigs per litter is expected during 2015, resulting in greater availability of hogs for slaughter.

However, the increase in the number of slaughter hogs may be partly offset by lower weights as hogs are marketed more rapidly. For 2014, the total meat production estimate is raised on higher pork and broiler production.

Beef production is reduced on a slightly slower pace of slaughter. The forecasts for 2014 and 2015 beef imports are raised, but the export forecast is reduced for 2014. Pork exports for 2014 are reduced on the pace of shipments, but the forecast is unchanged for 2015. No change is made to imports.

Broiler exports are reduced slightly for 2015. No change is made to the turkey export forecasts. The cattle price forecasts for 2015 are reduced from last month. The hog price forecast for 2015 is lowered on larger supplies. Broiler prices are lowered for 2015 as supplies of competing meats pressure prices. No change is made to turkey or egg prices. Prices for 2014 are adjusted to incorporate December data.

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