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WASDE: Total red meat and poultry production forecast is lowered from last month

LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: The 2019 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is lowered from last month on lower expected beef, pork and broiler production. The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month primarily on lower carcass weights, but higher total cattle slaughter for 2019 is expected to partially offset declines in carcass weights. Pork production is lowered on a slower pace of slaughter throughout the year, but this decline is partially offset by slightly higher hog weights. USDA’s March Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report estimated producers farrowed 2 percent more sows during DecemberFebruary and indicated their intentions to farrow about 1 percent more sows in March-May. These hogs will be ready for slaughter in the second half of 2019. Broiler production is reduced on recent hatchery data and slowing weight growth while turkey production is raised slightly. The 2019 egg production forecast is raised from the previous month as the pace of
expansion has been more rapid than previously expected.
 
For 2019, beef trade forecasts are unchanged from last month. Pork imports remain unchanged from the previous month, but the export forecast is raised on expectations of stronger global demand for U.S. pork products in the second half of the year. These forecasts assume that current trade policies remain in place. No change is made to broiler and turkey export forecasts. The 2019 cattle price forecast is adjusted to reflect a slightly lower first-quarter price. The hog price forecast is raised from last month but demand in coming quarters is not expected to be as strong as in March and early April. The broiler price forecast is reduced, reflecting a lower
first-quarter price, while modest year-over-year gains in turkey prices support a higher price forecast. The egg price forecast is lowered on recent price declines and increased production throughout the year.
 
The milk production forecast for 2019 is lowered from last month as higher milk cow numbers are more than offset by lower expected growth in milk per cow for the year. The 2019 fat basis import forecast is unchanged from last month, but the export forecast is lowered on slower expected shipments of butterfat products and whey products. On a skim-solids basis, the current import forecast is raised on higher imports of milk protein products and a number of other dairy products. The skim-solids basis export forecast is lowered from last month on lower shipments of whey products, lactose, and nonfat dry milk (NDM). The annual product price forecast for cheese is raised from last month on higher current prices and expected stronger demand. Butter, NDM, and whey prices are reduced from the previous month on current prices and expected weaker demand. The Class III price is raised on the higher cheese price forecast while the Class IV price is reduced on lower NDM and butter price
forecasts. The all milk price forecast is raised to $17.25 to $17.75 per cwt.