Expanding pig crop boosts pork production forecast

Expanding pig crop boosts pork production forecast

WASDE shows U.S. feed grain supplies for 2015-16 to exceed last year’s record levels.  

The USDA projected total U.S. red meat and poultry production in 2016 to surpass 2015 levels. As reported in the May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, the agency forecasted total meat and poultry at 97.178 billion pounds for 2016, 1.6 billion higher than this year's estimates.

Expansion and higher carcass weights support the higher production projections. Pork production is expected to increase as pig crops expand. This is a reflection of a moderate growth in farrowings during late 2015 and early 2016 along with a continued recovery in growth in pigs per litter.

USDA forecasted beef production higher as gains in the 2014 and 2015 calf crops support year-over-year increase in cattle placements in last half of 2015 and spilling over into early 2016.  Marketings of fed cattle are anticipated to increase during 2016, while carcass weights are expected to reflect incentives to keep cattle weights high.

Broiler and turkey production are predicted higher as rapid expansion in production which began in late 2014 continues. However, the future production growth – especially for turkey - will be hinged on the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza throughout the United States.

Red meat and poultry exports are estimated to increase in 2016 with expanding production while imports of beef and pork are expected to decline. For 2015, export forecasts for beef, pork, and broiler meat are all raised from last month based on March export data. Beef imports are calculated higher on strong processing-grade beef demand and tight supplies of domestic processing beef. Pork imports are lowered with expected increases in production.

For 2016, prices are projected higher across the board for all species with the exception of pork. The hog prices are reduced slightly to $44-48 per pound for 2016 compared to $48-50 per pound this year. Fed cattle prices are predicted near 2015 levels as supplies increase but demand for fed cattle remains robust However, broiler and turkey prices are forecasted higher despite increased production as demand improves and beef supplies remain tight.

Grain forecast

Meanwhile, the USDA projected U.S. feed grain supplies for 2015-16 to slightly exceed the record level of 2014-15 as larger beginning stocks more than offset lower expected production. Corn production estimated at 13.6 million bushels is 585 million lower than the record 2014-15 crop.  Based on a weather adjusted yield trend that assumes normal summer weather, the U.S. corn yield is penciled at 166.8 bushels per acre, down 4.2 bushels from the 2014-15 record.

For 2015-16 Corn supplies are estimated at a record 15.5 billion bushels, up just slightly from 2014-15. U.S. corn use for 2015-16 is forecasted at a record 13.8 billion bushels. Feed and residual use for 2015-16 is projected 50 million bushels higher with animal numbers up from 2014-15. Corn used to produce ethanol in 2015-16 is expected to be unchanged as projected gasoline consumption during the 2015-16 marketing year is nearly identical to 2014-15. Corn use in other food, seed and industrial categories in 2015-16 is projected slightly higher than this month’s lower forecast for 2014-15.

The season-average 2015-16 farm price is projected by the USDA at $3.20 to $3.80 per bushel, down 15 cents at the midpoint from this month’s lowered outlook for 2014-15. Forward pricing the 2015 crop have been at substantially lower levels than similar bids offered for the 2014 crop.

Overall, U.S. oilseed production for 2015-16 is estimated at 114.1 million tons, down 2.6% from 2014-15 mainly on lower soybean production. Soybean production is projected down 119 million from 2014 crop at 3,850 million bushels. The soybean yield is estimated at a trend level of 46.0 bushels per acre, down 1.8 bushels from last year’s record.

An increase in beginning stocks, supplies is projected at 4,230 million bushels, up 3.4% from 2014-15. For 2015-16, the U.S. soybean crush is calculated at 1,825 billion bushels, up 20 million from 2014-15. U.S. soybean meal use is predicted to increase 3.2% in line with expected gains in U.S. meat production.

As stated in the WASDE report, the U.S. season-average soybean price for 2015-16 will decline to $8.25 to $9.75 per bushel compared with $10.05 in 2014-15. Soybean meal prices are forecast at $305 to $345 per short ton compared with $365 in 2014-15. Soybean oil prices are forecast at 29.5 to 32.5 cents per pound compared with 32.0 cents in 2014-15.

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