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USDA raises meat, poultry production forecast

Hog farm barns pigs FDS operation.JPG National Pork Board
Robust beef and pork demand helps boost cattle and hog price forecasts.

In the latest “World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates” report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its total 2020 red meat and poultry production forecast from last month. USDA is now forecasting 2020 production to be 106.40 billion lb., up from 106.30 billion lb. in September.

Beef production was raised from the previous month to 27.14 billion lb. on expectations for increased second-half cattle slaughter. The pork production forecast, on the other hand, was reduced to 28.16 billion lb. based on lower second-half commercial hog slaughter and lighter carcass weights. USDA raised both the broiler and turkey production forecasts to 44.60 billion lb. and 5.74 billion lb., respectively, on production data to date. The egg production forecast was raised slightly from last month to 9.25 billion doz. eggs.

For 2021, USDA raised the total red meat and poultry forecast from the previous month to 107.46 billion lb. based on expectations for increased beef, pork and broiler production.

USDA raised its 2021 beef production forecast from last month to 27.37 billion lb. due to projections for higher steer and heifer slaughter. Pork production also was raised to 28.51 billion lb. on increased commercial hog slaughter. The broiler production forecast was raised from last month to 45.06 billion lb. based on slightly more rapid production growth, but the turkey production forecast was left unchanged at 5.77 billion lb. Egg production was left nearly unchanged at 9.39 billion doz. eggs.

USDA lowered the beef export forecast because of expectations for slower global demand. The 2020 and 2021 pork export forecasts were also lowered from last month on weakness in global import demand. The 2020 and 2021 broiler export forecasts were raised from last month. Egg exports for 2020 were raised slightly, but no change was made to the 2021 export forecast.

USDA raised its cattle price forecast from $107.30/cwt. to $108.71/cwt. based on current price strength and robust beef demand. Additionally, USDA said the price strength should carry into early 2021, with prices now projected to be $2.00/cwt. higher at $114.00/cwt.

The hog price forecast was raised to $43.25/cwt. for 2020 and $47.00/cwt. for 2021 based on current price movements and continued demand strength.

The 2020 broiler price forecast was virtually unchanged from last month, at 70.8 cents/lb., but was reduced from 82 cents to 79 cents for 2021 due to expected supply pressure. USDA raised the turkey price forecasts to $1.061/lb. for 2020 and $1.06/lb. for 2021.

The 2020 egg price forecast increased to $1.167/doz. on current prices strength, but USDA left the 2021 price forecast unchanged at $1.10/doz.

Slightly higher cow numbers and a more rapid pace of growth in milk per cow led USDA to raise its 2020 milk production forecast to 222.3 billion lb. For 2021, a larger dairy herd and increased milk per cow is expected to support higher milk production, but USDA only increased its forecast slightly to 225.5 billion lb.

Cheese and nonfat dry milk price forecasts were raised from last month, while the whey forecast was unchanged. USDA reduced the 2020 forecast for butter. The Class III price forecast was raised on the higher cheese price forecast. The Class IV price forecast was also raised as the higher nonfat dry milk price will more than offset the lower butter price forecast. USDA raised the all-milk price forecast to $18.00/cwt. for 2020 and to $17.60/cwt. for 2021.

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