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broiler chickens Credit: buhanovskiy/iStock/Thinkstock.

USDA raises 2020 total red meat, poultry forecast

Forecast raised based on higher broiler production despite lower expected beef, pork and turkey production.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its January “World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates” report, lowered the 2019 total red meat and poultry production estimate from last month due to reduced pork and turkey production, which more than offset higher beef production.

The beef production estimate was raised to 27.22 billion lb. based on the pace of late-year slaughter, while the pork production estimate was reduced to 27.65 billion lb. due to the slower pace of slaughter in late 2019. The broiler production estimate was unchanged from the previous month, at 43.37 billion lb., but the turkey production estimate was lowered to 5.85 billion lb. based on recent production data. The egg production estimate was raised to 9.38 billion doz. based on late-2019 production data.

For 2020, the total red meat and poultry production forecast was increased fractionally from last month to 104.83 billion lb. as higher broiler production is expected to more than offset lower beef, pork and turkey production.

The 2020 beef production forecast was reduced to 27.51 billion lb. on lighter expected carcass weights. USDA increased quarterly beef production in the first half of the year but reduced it in the second half of the year due to higher-than-expected cattle placements in late 2019 and a reduced placement forecast for early 2020.

The pork production forecast for 2020 was reduced to 28.66 billion lb. from the previous month.

USDA raised its 2020 broiler production forecast to 44.91 billion lb. based on recent hatchery data that points to continued expansion of laying flocks. The turkey production forecast, on the hand, was reduced to 5.91 billion lb.

The egg production forecast was raised to 9.51 billion doz. due to gains in the laying flock.

USDA increased the beef import forecast but made no change to the 2020 import forecast. The 2019 beef export forecast was reduced to reflect a slower export pace late in the year, but no change was made to the 2020 beef export forecast.

The pork export forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were unchanged from the previous month. The 2019 broiler export forecast was raised based on recent trade data, but no change was made to the 2020 export forecast.

For 2020, USDA raised the first-quarter cattle price, reflecting current early-year price strength. As such, the 2020 price forecast for cattle prices rose to $117.50/cwt. First-half hog price forecasts were reduced based on current prices and increased production. The 2020 hog price was lowered to $54.50/cwt.

USDA lowered broiler prices to 86.5 cents/lb., down from 89 cents/lb. the prior month, as projections for higher production weigh on markets. Turkey price forecasts for 2020 were raised to 92.5 cents/lb. based on lower production and continued demand recovery. Egg price forecasts were lowered to 95.5 cents/doz. due to recent price weakness and increased production.

Milk production forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were lowered from December figures based on slower expected growth in milk output per cow. Dairy product price estimates for 2019 include December price data. For 2020, cheese, butter and whey price forecasts were reduced on demand weakness and relatively high stocks. The nonfat dry milk price forecast was raised from December on continued strength in demand from export markets. The Class III price and Class IV price were lowered from the previous month. The 2019 all milk estimate was unchanged at $18.60, but the 2020 all milk price forecast was reduced to $19.25/cwt.

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