The 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised reflecting higher beef production, but lower pork production. Continued large cow slaughter is expected to boost beef production. A slower pace of slaughter in the third quarter and slightly lower weights due to heat stress are expected to result in lower pork production compared to last month. USDA will release its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on September 28, providing an estimate of sow farrowings in June-August and an indication of producer intentions for farrowings into early 2012.

Broiler production is about unchanged as an increased forecast of third-quarter production is offset by lower expected production in the fourth quarter. No change is made to turkey production and only a slight revision is made to egg production. For 2012, the beef production forecast is raised but pork and poultry production forecasts are reduced from last month. Larger forecast early year beef production reflects marketing of the large number of calves which are being placed as a result of drought in the Southern Plains. However, production in subsequent quarters will reflect tighter supplies of cattle and lighter expected carcass weights due to the placement of lighter cattle and relatively high feed prices. Pork forecasts are reduced as tight feed supplies dampen hog weights.

Poultry production forecasts are reduced as relatively high feed costs limit the sector’s expansion. The egg production forecast is lowered due to lower hatching egg production.

Beef import forecasts are lowered in 2011 and 2012 as U.S. cow slaughter remains relatively high. The beef export forecast for 2011 is little changed from last month as lower-than-expected secondquarter exports are largely offset by higher forecast exports in the second half of the year. The pork export forecast for 2011 is lowered as second-quarter exports were smaller than expected. The broiler export forecast is also reduced on lower-than-expected shipments in the second quarter. No change is made to red meat or poultry exports for 2012.

The cattle price for 2011 is about unchanged as a higher third-quarter price is offset by a lower fourth-quarter price. Cattle prices for 2012 are forecast slightly lower as larger marketings pressure cattle prices early in the year. Hog prices are raised slightly from last month for 2011 but are unchanged for 2012. Broiler prices are lowered for 2011 as supplies remain relatively large and demand relatively weak. Prices for 2012 are raised from last month on lower production.