The USDA Tuesday raised its forecast for total red meat and poultry production from last month as higher beef and turkey production estimates more than offset forecast reductions in pork production.
The new estimates were made in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from the USDA’s World Outlook Board.
In the report, the USDA placed its new 2017 total red meat and poultry production estimate at 101.0 billion pounds, up 26 million, or 0.26%, from 100.74 billion in the March 9 report and up 3.40 billion, or 3.48%, from the 2016 estimate of 97.60 billion.
BEEF PRODUCTION SEEN HIGHER
The raise in the annual beef production estimate was based on the higher current pace of slaughter and heavier-than-expected cattle weights in the first half of the year, the WASDE said.
Annual beef production for this year was estimated at 26.5 billion pounds, up 25 million, or 0.95%, from 26.25 billion in the March 9 report and up 1.29 million, or 5.12%, from the 2016 estimate of 25.21 billion.
The beef import forecast for 2017 was raised 10 million pounds, or 0.36%, to 2.745 billion pounds from 2.735 billion in the March 9 estimate as higher expected beef supplies from Pacific-Rim countries in the latter half of the year outweigh declines in the first half.
However, annual imports were expected to drop 271 million pounds, or 8.99%, from the 2016 estimate of 3.016 billion.
No changes were made to beef export estimates from the March 9 estimate of 2.725 billion pounds, but the estimate was up 175 million, or 6.86%, from the 2016 estimate of 2.550 billion.
The average annual price for fed steers this year was raised $0.11 per cwt, or 0.09%, to $117.99 from the March 9 estimate of $117.88. The new estimate, however, was down $2.87 per cwt, or 2.37%, from the 2016 estimate of $120.86.
PORK PRODUCTION ESTIMATE DOWN
The pork production forecast was lowered slightly with second- and third-quarter production estimates reduced but almost offset by higher fourth-quarter production. The March Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report indicated industry expansion still was underway although producers indicated intentions to slow farrowings this summer.
Annual pork production was estimated at 265.1 billion pounds, down 10 million, or 0.04%, from the March 9 estimate of 26.11 billion, but up 1.16 billion, or 4.65%, from the 2016 estimate of 24.94 billion.
The annual pork export estimate was left unchanged from the March 9 estimate of 5.670 billion pounds, but it was up 437 million, or 8.35%, from the 2016 estimate of 5.233 billion.
The 2017 average price for butcher hogs was estimated at $44.43 per cwt, down $0.19, or 0.43%, from the March 9 estimate of $44.62, and off $1.72, or 3.76%, from the 2016 estimate of $46.16.
CASH CATTLE QUIET
No cattle traded on the weekly fed cattle exchange auction last Wednesday. The previous week, average auction prices were $2.34 per cwt lower at $130.97, versus $133.31 a week earlier.
Asking prices this week range from $128 to $130 per cwt on a live basis and $202 to $205 dressed. No bids were reported.
Last week, prices were $120 to $122 per cwt live in Nebraska and Iowa, but $125 bids were rebuffed elsewhere.
The USDA’s choice cutout Tuesday was up $1.91 per cwt at $209.37, while select was up $3.00 at $199.60. The choice/select spread narrowed to $9.77 from $10.86 with 95 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $133.64 per cwt, up $0.33. This compares with the Apr settlement Tuesday of $137.17, up $1.87.