According to the USDA's July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released on July 12, the forecast for 2011 total meat production is lowered from last month as lower beef production more than offsets higher expected pork and turkey production. Beef production is lowered as steer and heifer slaughter in the second quarter was lower than expected although more cows were slaughtered. In addition, recent placements of lighter-weight cattle are expected to moderate carcass weight growth during the year.
The 2011 pork production forecast is raised on larger fourth-quarter slaughter. Broiler production for 2011 is unchanged as higher secondquarter production is offset by lower forecast production in the fourth quarter. Turkey production is raised largely on higher second-quarter production. No change is made to table egg production but hatching egg production is lowered due to a stronger forecast decline in last-quarter broiler production. For 2012, meat production forecasts are reduced as a sharper reduction in the broiler production forecast more than offsets higher pork and turkey production.
Larger cutbacks in broiler production are expected to carry into 2012 before production increases gradually later in the year. The pork production forecast is raised slightly, driven primarily by gains in pigs per litter. Despite higher forecast hog prices, producers are expected to remain cautious in expanding farrowings. Egg production forecasts for 2012 are reduced on less demand for hatching eggs.
A small increase is made to the export forecast for beef in 2011 but no changes are made to pork or broiler exports. For 2012, pork exports are raised, but no changes are made to either beef or broilers. No changes are made to beef, pork, or broiler imports for either 2011 or 2012. Cattle and hog prices are forecast higher for 2011 but forecast broiler prices are lowered as large supplies are pressuring prices. For 2012, cattle price forecasts are unchanged. Hog price forecasts are raised as demand strength carries into 2012, but price gains will be moderated by higher production. Broiler prices are raised slightly as 2012 supplies are forecast to be tighter.