Total U.S. meat production forecasts for 2008 and 2009 are reduced from last month, according to USDA.  Estimates for 2008 reflect lower reported production during the last part of fourth-quarter 2008.  In addition, price forecasts for 2009 cattle and hogs are lowered.

The production forecasts for 2009 reflect lower pork and broiler production. Sows farrowing and broiler hatchery data point toward lower numbers of hogs and broilers available for slaughter.  Current
slaughter data indicate that animal weights are lagging last year, and these lower weights are expected to continue through the early part of 2009 as producers adjust to earlier poor returns.

Beef production forecasts for 2009 are unchanged.  USDA's Cattle report, to be released January 30, will provide an indication of cattle supplies outside feedlots and breeding herd retention plans.  Turkey production forecasts are unchanged. Egg production forecasts are reduced on lower hatching egg
output; table eggs are unchanged.

Beef exports are raised slightly for 2008, but are unchanged for 2009.  Export forecasts for other meats are unchanged from last month.  Beef import forecasts are raised for 2008 and 2009, based on stronger imports from Oceania and South America.

Livestock and poultry price estimates for 2008 are adjusted based on year-end data.  Weak demand is expected to offset smaller expected red meat supplies.  Broiler price forecasts are raised on lower production forecasts.  Turkey and egg prices are reduced reflecting expected weaker demand.

Milk production forecasts for 2008 are lowered from last month. Based on monthly milk production data through November, higher expected cow numbers are more than offset by lower expected milk per cow. 

Milk and dairy product prices for 2008 are adjusted from last month reflecting December data. 

For a copy of the report, click here.

Source: USDA