LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: The 2012 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month as higher broiler and turkey production is expected to more than offset lower forecast beef production. The pork production forecast is unchanged. The broiler production forecast is raised for the first half of the year based on January production data and stronger forecast prices.
Beef production is lowered from last month. Steer and heifer slaughter is forecast lower, but is partly offset by higher expected cow slaughter. Early year carcass weights are raised due to mild weather in much of the country. Turkey production is forecast higher as higher prices are expected to encourage a more rapid expansion. Egg production is lowered slightly for 2012 as prices are forecast lower. Poultry and egg production for 2011 is adjusted to reflect revisions in production data. The beef export forecast for 2012 is unchanged but imports are raised. Pork exports are raised from last month based on the strength of December export data. The broiler export forecast is unchanged from last month. Changes in estimates for 2011 trade reflect December data.
Cattle prices for 2012 are raised from last month, reflecting tightening supplies of fed cattle. Hog price forecasts are unchanged from last month. Broiler and turkey price forecasts are raised as current prices have strengthened. Egg price forecasts are reduced on lower-thanexpected early year prices.
The milk production forecast for 2012 is raised. Milk cow numbers are raised as herds are increasing more rapidly than expected. Although herds are expected to decline from 2011 in the second half of the year, the rate will be less than previously expected. Mild weather in the early part of the year is also supporting higher levels of milk production. Import and export forecasts are unchanged. Changes in 2011 estimates of supply and use reflect revised annual stocks data and December trade data.
With higher forecast 2012 milk production, prices for cheese, butter, nonfat dry milk, and whey are lowered. As a result, both Class III and Class IV price forecasts are reduced from last month. The all milk price for 2012 is lowered to $17.60-$18.20 per cwt.