Beef Production Down; More Cattle, Just Less of Them

08:06AM Aug 11, 2011
( )

 Small changes are made to the 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production.  Beef production is reduced slightly.  Although fed cattle slaughter is raised to reflect the large number of cattle placed in feedlots during the second quarter due to drought in the Southern Plains, second-half carcass weights have been reduced.  The pork production forecast is lowered due to the expected short-term effect of recent hot, humid weather on third-quarter hog weights.  

For the year, broiler production is unchanged from last month.  Production in June was higher than expected which offsets a sharper expected decline in second-half production.  Turkey production is raised as higher forecast turkey prices are expected to moderate the expected decline in second-half production.  The egg production forecast is reduced slightly from last month.

For 2012, beef production is reduced due to slower carcass weight growth and slightly lower later year slaughter.  Higher feed prices are expected to slow the pace of later year marketings as cattle are kept on forage longer.  Pork production is lowered as tight feed supplies pressure hog weights.  Broiler production is forecast lower as the stronger second-half production declines carry into the first part of 2012.  Turkey production is expected to grow more slowly as higher feed prices partly offset higher turkey prices.  Egg production is reduced from last month on higher feed prices.  

Beef imports are forecast higher in 2011 as demand for processing meat remains relatively strong.  Beef exports are raised for both 2011 and 2012.  A favorable exchange rate is expected to support exports to a number of countries.  Likewise, pork export forecasts are raised for both 2011 and 2012.  A favorable exchange rate and relatively strong demand for pork in Asia are expected to boost exports.  U.S. pork imports are reduced slightly in both years.  No change is made to broiler exports for either 2011 or 2012 but turkey exports in 2011 are expected to be slightly stronger.     

Cattle prices are forecast slightly lower for the third quarter but subsequent forecasts are unchanged.  

Hog prices are forecast higher for both 2011 and 2012 as stronger export demand in both years support prices.  Broiler prices are lowered in both 2011 and in the first part of 2012 as supplies remain relatively large.    

The milk production forecast for 2011 is reduced.  Although the July Cattle report indicated that producers are holding relatively large numbers of dairy replacement heifers which supports a higher forecast dairy herd, recent hot, humid weather and relatively high priced feed may constrain the growth in milk per cow.  

Milk production is forecast higher for 2012, reflecting a larger herd in the first part of 2012 but slightly slower growth in milk per cow.  Commercial exports for 2011 are forecast higher on the strength of butterfat exports.  Imports are lowered reflecting lower imports of cheese and milk proteins.  

Trade forecasts for 2012 are unchanged.   

Cheese, butter, and whey prices are forecast higher for 2011, but nonfat dry milk (NDM) is forecast lower.  Tighter milk supplies are expected to support higher product prices but softening international prices will likely weigh on U.S. NDM markets.  The Class III price is raised, based on higher forecast cheese and whey prices, but lower forecast NDM prices will outweigh higher butter prices and the Class IV price forecast is reduced.  For 2012, NDM prices are forecast lower on expected weaker early-year demand but cheese prices are forecast slightly higher.  Forecast butter and whey prices are unchanged from last month.  The Class III price is raised reflecting higher forecast cheese prices but lower NDM prices result in a reduced forecast for the Class IV price.  The all milk price forecast is raised to $20.30 to $20.50 per cwt for 2011 and $17.80 to $18.80 per cwt for 2012.