The forecast for 2011 U.S. meat and poultry production is raised from last month, reflecting increased production of pork, beef, broilers, and turkeys. Pork production is increased from last month as carcass weights thus far in the first quarter are well above last year.  

Fed cattle slaughter will reflect expected strength in feedlot placements during early 2011 and relatively large dairy cow slaughter in the first part of 2011 will also contribute to higher beef production. However, the effects of increased cattle slaughter will be partly mitigated by lower expected carcass weights.

The pork and poultry export forecasts for 2011 are unchanged from last month. The forecast for beef exports for 2011 is raised from last month on strength in exports to Asia. The beef import forecast is reduced as supplies in several exporting countries are expected to remain tight and a relatively weak U.S. dollar is expected to constrain shipments.  Trade estimates for 2010 reflect import and export data for December.

Despite the higher production forecasts, prices for livestock and poultry are raised from last month. Robust exports and improving domestic demand in the face of relatively tight meat supplies are expected to support higher price forecasts for cattle, hogs, broilers, and turkeys.

Source: USDA/WASDE