LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: The forecast for total meat production in 2014 is lowered from last month, as lower beef production in the fourth quarter more than offsets increased pork production. Beef production is reduced as slaughter is expected lower. However, carcass weights remain heavy which partly offsets the decline. Hog slaughter for the fourth quarter is increased from last month as slaughter to date has been strong. A small revision is made to third-quarter broiler slaughter but the forecasts for fourth quarter broiler and turkey production are unchanged. For 2015, total meat production is slightly higher on small increase in beef production; other production forecasts are unchanged. USDA will release its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on December 23, providing an indication of producers’ sow farrowing intentions into 2015.
The forecast for 2014 beef imports is raised on the pace of imports to date, but the export forecast is unchanged from last month. No change is made to 2015 forecasts. Pork imports are raised for 2014 and exports are reduced as relatively high prices are expected to encourage imports and limit sales opportunities. For 2015, the import forecast is raised but exports are unchanged. No change is made to the broiler or turkey export forecasts.
The cattle price forecasts for 2014 and 2015 are raised from last month on continued demand strength and tight supplies of fed cattle. The hog price forecast for 2014 is lowered on current prices, but the 2015 price is unchanged. The broiler and turkey price forecasts for 2014 are raised. The turkey price forecast is increased for 2015 but broilers are unchanged. The egg price forecasts for 2014 and 2015 are raised on expectations of strong demand through the end of 2014 and into early 2015.
The milk production forecast for 2014 is unchanged from last month, but is lowered for 2015 as growth in milk per cow is expected to be more moderate. Fat basis imports are reduced for 2014 as milkfat imports have been lower than expected. Export forecasts on a skim-solids basis are raised for 2014 on stronger whey product sales to date. Fat and skim-solids basis trade forecasts for 2015 are unchanged.
The butter price is raised for 2014, reflecting current price movements, but the price forecast for 2015 is unchanged at the midpoint of the range. Cheese and nonfat dry milk (NDM) prices are reduced for both 2014 and 2015 as supplies are expected to remain large. Whey prices are unchanged from last month. Class III prices for 2014 and 2015 are lowered on weaker cheese prices. The Class IV price is unchanged for 2014 as a higher butter price is offset by a lower NDM price. For 2015 a lower NDM price results in a reduced Class IV price forecast. The all milk price is lowered to $24.05 to $24.15 per cwt for 2014 and $18.45 to $19.25 per cwt for 2015.