LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: Total U.S. red meat and poultry production in 2016 is projected to be above 2015. Beef production is forecast higher as gains in the 2014 and 2015 calf crops support year-over-year increases in cattle placements in late 2015 and early 2016. Marketings of fed cattle are forecast to increase during 2016, while carcass weights are expected to reflect incentives to keep cattle weights high. Pork production is expected to increase as pig crops expand; reflecting moderate increases in farrowings during late 2015 and early 2016 and a continued recovery in growth in pigs per litter. Broiler and turkey production are forecast higher as the more rapid expansion in production which began in late 2014 continues. Egg production for 2016 is forecast to expand as producers respond to favorable egg prices and moderate feed costs.
The total red meat and poultry production forecast for 2015 is raised from last month on higher beef, pork, and broiler production. Beef production is raised on heavier dressed weights. Pork production is forecast higher as the pace of slaughter in the second quarter remains heavy and supplies of slaughter hogs in the second part of the year are expected to remain ample. Broiler production is raised from last month as producers continue to expand egg sets and chicks placed. Turkey production is lowered from last month as previously forecast production growth is expected to be limited. Egg production for 2015 is lowered as recent discoveries of HPAI will constrain production growth.
Red meat and poultry exports are expected to increase in 2016 with expanding production. Imports of beef and pork are expected to decline. For 2015, export forecasts for beef, pork, and broiler meat are raised from last month on March export data and larger production forecasts. Beef imports are forecast higher on strong processing-grade beef demand and tight supplies of domestic processing beef. Pork imports are lowered with expected increases in production.
For 2016, fed cattle prices are forecast near 2015 levels as supplies increase but demand for fed cattle remains robust. Hog prices are forecast to be lower than 2015 as hog supplies increase. However, broiler and turkey prices are forecast higher despite increased production as demand improves and beef supplies remain tight. Egg prices are forecast higher on firm demand. The fed cattle price forecast for 2015 is lowered from last month. Hog prices are reduced slightly. Broiler prices are forecast higher as demand remains strong. Turkey prices are raised based on current strength in prices and reduced production. Egg prices are unchanged.
Milk production for 2016 is forecast higher as improved forage availability and moderate feed costs are expected to support gains in milk per cow. Cow numbers are forecast slightly higher. Commercial exports on both a fat and skim-solids basis are forecast higher with a resumption of normal trade patterns. Imports are forecast lower as domestic production increases and demand from competing importers is higher. With stronger domestic demand and export, cheese, nonfat dry milk (NDM) and whey prices are forecast higher, but butter prices are forecast lower as strong NDM demand is expected to support relatively high levels of butter production. Both Class III and Class IV prices are forecast higher. The all milk price is forecast at $17.45 to $18.45 per cwt for 2016.
Forecast milk production in 2015 is forecast lower than last month as drought in the West impacts milk per cow and growth in the cow herd is expected to be slower. Fat and skim-solids imports are raised on strong cheese demand. Fat basis exports are raised on better-than-expected March exports. Skim-solids exports are higher based on higher NDM and lactose shipments. Cheese, NDM, and whey prices are forecast lower on weaker demand, but the butter price forecast is raised on strong demand. The Class III price is lowered on weaker cheese and whey prices. The Class IV price is lower as the stronger butter price is more than offset by the reduced prices for NDM. The milk price is forecast to average $17.10 to $17.60 per cwt.