USDA: Pork production forecast lower

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According to the USDA's latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the forecast for 2013 meat and poultry production is reduced from last month, largely reflecting lower beef and pork production. However, the broiler production forecast is raised slightly for the year.

Lower cattle placements in second-half 2012 are expected to result in lower steer and heifer slaughter in first-half 2013 as fewer fed cattle are available for slaughter.

Pork production is forecast lower than last month on slightly lower expected weights.

Broiler production is forecast slightly higher in the first quarter of 2013 as the hatchery data points to a smaller-than-expected reduction in birds for slaughter.

 The beef and pork production forecasts are lowered for the fourth quarter. Fed cattle slaughter is forecast slightly lower although cow slaughter is expected to remain near third quarter levels. Hog weights are reduced as weights have recently fallen below yearearlier levels. Beef imports and exports are reduced for 2012 based on the pace of trade, but are unchanged for 2013. Pork exports are raised for 2012 and 2013.

Turkey and egg production forecasts are unchanged from last month. For 2012, the red meat and poultry production forecast is raised from last month as higher broiler and turkey production more than offsets lower red meat production. September broiler production was higher than expected and the production forecast for the fourth quarter is raised.Turkey and egg production changes reflect data through September although hatching egg production is forecast higher for 2012.  Poultry export forecasts are raised for both 2012 and 2013 on strong sales to a number of markets.

Cattle prices are raised for both 2012 and 2013, reflecting tight supplies of fed cattle through the end of this year and into 2013. The hog price for fourth-quarter 2012 is reduced slightly on current prices, but the forecast for 2013 is unchanged. Broiler prices are raised for both 2012 and 2013 as demand has been stronger than expected.

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