According to Mark Jekanowski, chair of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, there were relatively minor changes in the USDA’s December meat price and production forecast for this year and next.
"We raised our beef production forecast for 2021 by 10 million pounds; our pork production forecast by 50 million pounds," says Jekanowski.
However, broiler production forecast was lowered by 100 million pounds from the previous month.
"As opposed to beef and pork for 2021, we've seen a relatively slower pace of slaughter, so we've pulled our boiler production forecast back," he says.
As for the production forecast for meat animals in 2022, Jekanowski notes no real change to beef production, but for production year-over-year, the USDA is anticipating it to be down by 890 million pounds.
"Similarly, on pork, just a small change to our production estimate for 2022, up about 10 million pounds, but year-over-year decline of about 14 million pounds," Jekanowski says.
With strong prices and anticipated tighter supplies and goods demand into 2022, the USDA raised the broiler production forecast by 260 million pounds, a year-over-year increase of about 770 million pounds.
Steer prices were also increased in the December report.
"Steer prices have been strong. We raised our steer price forecast by $1.25 per hundredweight (CWT). With the support from good demand, we expect steer prices to continue to rise. We raised our steer price forecast for 2022 by $5.25 per CWT," Jekanowski says. "Hogs on the other hand, those prices have been a little bit weaker lately. We reduced our hog price forecast by $0.25 per CWT and didn't make any change to our 2022 price forecast. That still sits right at $60.25 per CWT."