The 2015 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is higher than last month on increases to beef, pork, and poultry production.
USDA’s Cattle report, released January 30, revised the 2014 calf crop higher and pointed to a higher level of cattle outside feedlots on January 1, 2015. Given greater supplies of cattle outside feedlots, placements are expected to decline less rapidly during 2015 with fed cattle slaughter higher than forecast last month. Cow slaughter is raised slightly from last month with larger cow numbers, but is still expected to be below 2014. The increase in slaughter is partly offset by slower growth in carcass weights.
Pork production is raised as slaughter to date has been above expectations.
Broiler production is higher as recent hatchery data shows fasterthan-expected growth in chicks placed. Turkey production is also raised on hatchery data. Egg production is unchanged. Estimates of 2014 meat and egg production are adjusted to reflect December data.
The 2015 beef import forecast is raised from last month as demand for processing grade beef remains strong and strength of the dollar makes the United States an attractive market. Beef exports for 2015 are reduced due to relatively high U.S. prices. Pork exports are lowered based on increased competition from other exporters and slower growth in global demand.
The broiler export forecast is lowered on weaker demand. Turkey exports are also reduced. The egg export forecast is raised.
Meat and egg trade estimates for 2014 are updated based on data for December. Larger meat supplies are expected to pressure prices for livestock and poultry.
Cattle prices for 2015 are lowered from last month, reflecting recent price weakness for fed cattle and greater supplies of competing meats.
The hog price forecast is down on greater supplies of market hogs and weaker-than-expected demand.