The estimate for total red meat and poultry production for 2016 is raised slightly from last month. Beef production is raised on increased fed cattle slaughter and heavier carcass weights. Pork production for 2016 is raised based on slaughter data. Broiler and turkey production for 2016 is slightly lower based on the recent slaughter. For 2017, red meat and poultry production is raised largely on higher forecast pork production, although forecasts of beef and broilers are raised.
Higher expected cattle placements in late 2016 and early 2017 underpin higher forecast beef production in 2017. USDA will release its semi-annual Cattle report January 31 which will provide estimates of heifers held for breeding along with indications of the availability of cattle for placement during 2017.
Pork production for 2017 is raised based on estimates from the December Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. The 5 percent year-over-year increase in the September– November pig crop will be slaughtered largely in the second quarter of 2017. Producers indicated intentions to farrow 1 percent more sows in the first half of 2017 which, coupled with expected growth in pigs per litter, will support a higher level of slaughter during the second half of the year.
Broiler production is raised for early 2017 on recent hatchery data, but the turkey production forecast is unchanged. Egg production for 2017 is raised slightly based on hatchery data.
Both beef and pork 2016 export estimates are raised based on November trade data and expectations of strong export demand in December. Beef imports are lowered, but no change is made to pork imports. Broiler and turkey exports are lowered on recent trade data. No change is made to the 2016 egg export estimate. For 2017, beef exports are raised as current demand strength is expected to carry into 2017. Imports are forecast higher on expectations of slightly larger supplies from Oceania in early 2017. No changes are made to pork, broiler, or turkey trade forecasts. The 2017 egg export forecast is raised on expectations of stronger sales in the first half of the year.
Livestock and poultry prices for 2016 are adjusted to reflect December price data. The 2017 cattle price forecast is increased on continued strong demand into the first part of 2017. The hog price forecast for first quarter 2017 is raised on demand strength, but price forecasts for subsequent quarters are lowered as hog supplies are expected to be large. Broiler prices are raised slightly on early-year demand strength. Turkey prices are forecast lower on relatively soft demand. Egg prices are increased.