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USDA lowers 2019 meat, poultry production forecast

Forecast for 2020 total red meat and poultry production raised based on higher beef and broiler production.

Lower forecasts for 2019 beef, pork and turkey production more than offset higher broiler production, leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lower its forecast for 2019 total red meat and poultry production. The agency slightly lowered its total red meat and poultry production forecast for 2019 to 104.60 billion lb.

In USDA’s latest “World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates” report, 2019 beef production was reduced to 26.953 billion lb. from the previous month primarily based on a slower expected pace of fed cattle slaughter and lighter carcass weights in the fourth quarter. The pork production forecast was reduced to 27.578 billion lb. due to the rate of slaughter in the third quarter and slightly lighter carcass weights, USDA said. The “Quarterly Hogs & Pigs” report will be released on Sept. 27 and will provide information on producer farrowing intentions into early 2020.

USDA lower its 2019 turkey forecast based on lower expected third- and fourth-quarter production. The broiler production forecast was raised on recent production data and continued growth in average bird weights for the remainder of the year. The 2019 egg production forecast was raised slightly on hatchery flock data.

For 2020, the total red meat and poultry forecast was raised to 106.78 billion lb. from the previous month based on higher expected beef and broiler production. The 2020 beef production forecast was raised to 27.67 billion lb. from last month as higher expected first-half 2020 marketings are expected to support higher fed cattle slaughter in 2020. First-half carcass weights are also expected to support increased beef production, USDA said.

The broiler production forecast was raised to 44 billion lb. from the previous month due to expectations for a greater proportion of heavy-weight birds.

Pork, turkey and egg production forecasts were unchanged from the previous month.

The cattle price forecast for 2019 was lowered to $113.50/cwt. based on current prices and expectations for continued price weakness. The 2020 forecast was also reduced to $115/cwt. Hog price forecasts were reduced slightly to $49.50/cwt. for 2019 and to $59.00/cwt. for the first half of 2020. The 2019 broiler price forecast was raised to 87 cents/lb. on recent price strength, but no change was made to 2020 price forecast. Turkey price forecasts were unchanged for both 2019 and 2020, at 88.5 cents/lb. and 90 cents/lb., respectively. The agency raised 2019 and 2020 egg price forecasts from last month to 90.5 cents/doz. and 99 cents/doz., respectively, based on strong demand that is expected to carry into next year.

USDA lowered its beef import and export forecasts for 2019 but left the 2020 forecast unchanged. The 2019 and 2020 pork export forecasts were raised from the previous month due to recent trade data and expectations for continued strong global demand for U.S. pork products. The 2019 broiler export forecast was adjusted higher to reflect recent trade data, but no change was made to the 2020 export forecast. No changes were made to the 2019 and 2020 turkey trade forecasts.

The agency raised the milk production forecast for 2019 to 218 billion lb. on stronger growth in milk yield per cow, which USDA more than offsets the forecast lower cow numbers. For 2020, the milk production forecast was reduced from the previous month to 221.2 billion lb. based on slower expected growth in dairy cow numbers, partly offset by a slightly higher forecast for milk per cow, USDA added.

For 2019 and 2020, cheese, nonfat dry milk and whey prices were raised from the previous month, but the price forecast for butter was reduced. USDA raised the 2019 and 2020 the Class III price forecasts from last month based on higher cheese and whey prices. The 2019 and 2020 Class IV price forecasts were lowered from the previous month as expectations for lower butter prices more than offset higher nonfat dry milk prices. USDA raised the all-milk price forecast to $18.35/cwt. for 2019 and to $18.85/cwt. for 2020.

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