U.S. turkey production in May totaled 427.5 million lb., 6% higher than April on a per day basis but 5% lower than the same period last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest “Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook.”
USDA relayed that May is the second month to see a year-over-year decline.
Net poult placements, which USDA said have been below 2019 levels so far in 2020, fell to 19.3 million poults in May, a nearly 11% year-over-year decline and the lowest number of poults placed in a month since September 2015.
USDA revised its 2020 second-quarter production forecast downward to 1.36 billion lb. due to the May data. Based on lower-than-expected placements, the third-quarter production forecast was revised lower to 1.40 billion lb., and the fourth quarter was revised to 1.45 billion lb., making the 2020 total forecast 5.68 billion lb. This would be a 2% decrease from 2019, USDA noted.
The agency also revised the 2021 production forecast lower to 5.77 billion lb., which would be a 2% year-over-year change from the 2020 forecast. Reflecting the lower production estimates, cold storage estimates were also adjusted. Ending stocks for 2020 were revised downward to 215 million lb.
Turkey prices to continue climbing
As production has declined, turkey prices have risen, USDA reported. Wholesale whole-hen frozen turkey prices averaged $1.037/lb. in the second quarter. The weekly price was $1.097/lb. for the week ending July 10.
The quarterly forecast for the second half of 2020 was revised upward by 1 cent each quarter on lower production expectations, to $1.09 for the third quarter and $1.11 for the fourth quarter. The 2021 average price forecast was also revised up by 1 cent to $1.05/lb.