LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: The 2018 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, as higher forecast broiler production more than offsets lower beef, pork, and turkey production. The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month, as expected lower second-half beef production more than offsets higher first-half beef production. NASS’s Cattle report, released January 31, estimated the U.S. cattle inventory continued to increase for the fourth consecutive year, but the report also indicated that fewer numbers of cattle were being held outside feedlots. The number of cattle placed on feed in the first part of 2018 is expected to be lower, resulting in lower marketings and beef production in the second half of the year.
The January NASS Cattle on Feed report showed year-over-year increases in placement numbers in December, implying higher numbers of fed cattle will likely be marketed
during the spring quarter. Cattle weights are raised for the first half of 2018 on current weight patterns. Pork production is reduced on the pace of slaughter to date. Broiler production is raised largely on continued growth in bird weights. First-half turkey production is reduced on hatchery data. First-quarter egg production is reduced on a slower laying rate. Estimates of 2017 meat and egg production are adjusted to reflect December data.
For 2018, beef exports are raised as demand from several key trading partners is expected to remain robust; no change is made to the beef import forecast. Pork import
and export forecasts are unchanged from last month. First-half broiler export forecasts are raised on expectations of strong demand while turkey exports are reduced on the slow pace of recovery in exports in late-2017 and lower production in 2018. Livestock, poultry, and egg trade estimates for 2017 are adjusted to reflect December trade data. Fed-cattle prices for the first half of 2018 are raised from last month on continued demand strength. First-quarter hog and broiler price forecasts are raised from last month on stronger prices to date. The first-quarter turkey price is also raised, but the annual forecast remains unchanged. Egg price forecasts are also raised on continued robust demand.
The milk production forecast for 2018 is lowered from last month on expectations of slower growth in milk per cow. The 2018 fat basis export and import forecasts are
unchanged from the previous month. On a skim-solids basis, the import forecast is raised slightly while the export forecast is raised on strong global demand for skim milk powder, lactose, and whey products. The 2017 production, trade, and stock estimates are adjusted to reflect December data.
Annual product price forecasts for cheese and butter are lowered from the previous month as demand remains relatively weak. No changes are made to the annual prices
for NDM and whey. The Class III price is lowered on the cheese price projection while the Class IV price is down on a lower butter price forecast. The all milk price is forecast is reduced to $15.70 to $16.40 per cwt.