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Red meat and poultry production forecast to decline

marina_karkalicheva/iStock/Thinkstock Pork carcasses hanging in cooler
USDA raises beef production forecast but lowers pork production estimate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently lowered its 2022 forecast for red meat and poultry production due to higher forecast beef production that more than offset lower pork, broiler, and turkey production, the agency's latest "World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates" report showed.  

The beef production forecast was raised to 27.38 billion pounds, up from the previous month’s forecast. USDA said the increase was because larger expected placements during first-half 2022 are marketed in the latter half of the year. However, the increase in fed cattle slaughter was partly offset by lower non-fed cattle slaughter, the agency added.

Pork production was lowered to 27.38 billion pounds due to a slower pace of slaughter. USDA had previously estimated 2022 pork production at 27.52 billion pounds.

USDA reduced broiler and turkey production forecasts on current hatchery data and higher expected feed costs. Broiler and turkey production for 2022 is forecast at 45.49 billion pounds and 5.62 billion pounds, respectively.

USDA reduced the egg production forecast to 9.43 billion dozen as higher feed costs are expected to temper production growth.

Fed cattle prices were raised for the second half of the year on firm packer demand. USDA now forecasts the annual price at $137.50/cwt., up from $137.00/cwt. last month.

USDA said current prices and slower production growth were the reason for increasing the 2022 annual hog price to $65.00/cwt., up from $60.50/cwt.

Broiler, turkey and egg price forecasts were also raised.

USDA lowered its milk production forecast from last month, on lower dairy cow numbers. USDA’s “Cattle” report estimated the dairy cow inventory on January 1 almost 1% below 2021, and the number of heifers held for dairy cow replacement was 3% lower.

Annual product price forecasts for cheese, butter, nonfat dry milk, and whey are raised from the previous month on current prices, lower expected milk production, and tightening stocks. With higher product prices, both the Class III and the Class IV prices were raised. The 2022 all milk price forecast was increased to $23.55/cwt.

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