The 2016 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month as higher expected cattle slaughter and heavier carcass weights more than offset a lower pork production forecast.

The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, released March 25, estimated that growth in pigs per litter in the first quarter was slower than expected and that producers expected to farrow fewer sows in March-May than previously intended. Coupled with slower-than-expected first quarter slaughter, forecast pork production is reduced.

The strength of the U.S. dollar continues to make the United States an attractive market for imports and constrains exports. Pork imports are raised on the strength of the dollar, but improving demand in several importing countries is providing support for increased exports.

The beef import forecast is raised and the export is reduced from last month based on recent trade data.

Hog prices are lowered on weaker demand. The cattle price forecast is reduced from last month on relatively weak demand and larger expected fed cattle supplies. 

Source: USDA, World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, April 2016