The 2014 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is lowered from last month as higher beef production is more than offset by lower pork, broiler, and turkey production. For beef, production is forecast higher as lower forecast slaughter in the first
quarter is more than offset by higher slaughter in the second half. The larger forecast second-half slaughter reflects larger placements of cattle during the first half. Pork production is reduced from last month as the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report estimated a year-over decline in the December-February 2014 pig crop and revised the June-August 2013 pig crop lower. Although producers indicated intentions to increase sows farrowing in March-May and June-August 2014, the loss of piglets due to the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is expected to result in lower slaughter during the remainder of the year. Although carcass weights are forecast higher, those gains will be insufficient to offset the reduced slaughter numbers and the pork production forecast is reduced from last month. Broiler production and hatchery data points to slower growth in eggs set an chicks placed. Production is also reduced as feed prices are forecast higher. Turkey production for the first quarter is reduced based on February production, but forecasts for production in subsequent quarters are unchanged. Egg production forecasts for 2014 are unchanged.
The beef import forecast for 2014 is raised from last month as demand for processing-grade beef remains strong and the export forecast is raised on continued strong sales to Asian markets. Pork imports are raised on high U.S. pork prices, but the export forecast is reduced as tighter supplies and high prices are expected to constrain sales. The broiler export forecast is reduced based on February export data. Turkey exports are lowered on weaker sales. Egg import and export forecasts are lowered.
Cattle prices for 2014 are raised from last month, reflecting continued price strength for fed cattle. The hog price forecast is raised on current prices and expected tight supplies of market hogs. Broiler and turkey prices are raised as higher cattle and reduced broiler production support higher prices. The egg price is raised on continued strong demand.
The milk production forecast for 2014 is raised from last month as strong returns are expected to encourage a more rapid expansion in cow numbers and increased milk per cow. Fat-basis exports are raised on higher sales of cheese and butter, but the skim-solids export forecast is lowered on weaker-than-expected nonfat dry milk (NDM) sales. Skim-solid imports are reduced slightly due to lower imports of milk protein concentrate and casein.
Product price forecasts for cheese, butter, and whey are higher, supported by strong demand and price strength to date. However, the NDM price is unchanged at the midpoint as export demand is weaker than expected. Class III and Class IV prices are raised on higher product prices. The all milk price is forecast at $22.55-23.05 per cwt.