The forecast for 2011 meat and poultry production is virtually unchanged from last month as small increases in pork and beef production are largely offset by a slightly reduced forecast of broiler and turkey production, according to USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report issued Friday.

Pork is forecast higher on slightly larger slaughter and higher-than-expected first quarter weights. Beef production is forecast higher as higher cow and bull slaughter more than offsets slightly lower steer and heifer slaughter. Broiler and turkey production forecasts are reduced on moderating weight gains. The egg production forecast is reduced slightly as higher feed costs squeeze producers’ returns.  

The pork export forecast is unchanged from last month but imports are forecast slightly lower. Broiler exports are forecast lower on weaker expected demand.

The forecast for beef exports for 2011 is raised from last month as the relatively weak dollar and economic growth in a number of countries support export growth. Conversely, the weakness in the U.S. dollar and economic growth in other major importing countries will limit U.S. beef imports. Thus, the forecast for beef imports is reduced from last month.

Prices for livestock and poultry are raised from last month, according to the report. Meat supplies remain tight and improving domestic demand and strength in red meat exports are supporting prices for livestock and poultry. Egg prices are forecast higher on the anticipated smaller production increase.

Read the full report.

Source: WASDE report