USDA lowers forecast for red meat and poultry production

Pork, broiler and turkey exports are reduced on slower demand
calendar icon 14 February 2022
clock icon 3 minute read

According to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, estimates of 2021 red meat, poultry, and egg production have been adjusted to reflect December production data.

The 2022 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is lowered slightly from last month, as higher forecast beef production is more than offset by lower pork, broiler, and turkey production. The beef production forecast is raised from the previous month as larger expected placements during first-half 2022 are marketed in the latter half of the year. However, the increase in fed cattle slaughter is partly offset by lower non-fed cattle slaughter. Pork production is lowered on a slower pace of slaughter. Broiler and turkey production forecasts are reduced on current hatchery data and higher expected feed costs. The egg production forecast is reduced from last month as higher feed costs are expected to temper production growth.

Livestock, poultry, and egg trade estimates for 2021 are adjusted to reflect December trade data. For 2022, the beef import forecast is raised on strong demand for processing beef; the export forecast is unchanged.

Pork exports are reduced on continued weakness in demand from China and increased competition in other markets. The broiler export forecast is lowered on weaker demand from a number of Asian markets. The turkey export forecast is reduced from last month on slower demand.

Fed-cattle prices are raised for the second half of the year on firm packer demand. Hog, broiler, turkey, and egg price forecasts are raised on current prices and slower growth of production expected during the year. Egg prices are also raised on current prices and slower production growth.

The 2021 milk production, trade, and stock estimates are adjusted to reflect December data. For 2022, the milk production forecast is lowered from last month, on lower dairy cow numbers. The Cattle report estimated the dairy cow inventory on 1 January almost one percent below 2021, and the number of heifers held for dairy cow replacement was 3% lower. The 2022 fat basis import forecast is raised on higher expected imports of butter, while exports are reduced on lower expected shipments of butter and cheese. On a skim-solids basis, the import forecast is raised, reflecting higher imports of milk proteins and several other dairy-containing products while the export forecast is reduced on weaker expected sales of whey products and skim milk powder.

Annual product price forecasts for cheese, butter, nonfat dry milk, and whey are raised from the previous month on current prices, lower expected milk production, and tightening stocks. With higher product prices, both the Class III and the Class IV prices are raised. The 2022 all milk price forecast is increased to $23.55 per cwt.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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