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USDA lowers 2023 red meat and poultry production forecast

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Forecast for 2022 raised despite a reduction in pork and turkey production.

The USDA has lowered its total U.S. red meat and poultry production forecast for 2023 to 105.34 billion pounds due to lower beef production that more than offsets higher pork and poultry production, according to the latest “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report.

Beef production in 2023 is forecast lower at 25.95 bil. lbs., down from 27.84 billion lbs. in 2022, with expected declines in both fed and non-fed cattle supplies. Pork production is forecast higher at 27.37 bil. lbs., up from 27.04 bil. lbs. in 2022, due to increased farrowings and continued growth in productivity.

On the poultry and egg side, USDA said higher forecast broiler production, at 45.68 bil. lbs., reflects moderating feed costs and improved productivity. Turkey production, at 5.65 bil. lbs., and egg production, at 9.49 bil. dozen, are both projected higher as the sectors recover from the 2022 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks.

USDA raised the 2022 total red meat and poultry production forecast from last month to 106.38 bil. lbs., saying higher beef and broiler production more than offset a reduction in pork and turkey production.

USDA raised the beef production on more cattle being placed in feedlots sooner than normally expected due to drought conditions, which supports higher annual fed cattle slaughter. Further, cow slaughter is forecast higher. Pork production is reduced on lighter expected carcass weights.

USDA raised the broiler production forecast on recent slaughter and hatchery data. Turkey and egg production forecasts are lowered due to the impacts of HPAI.

In 2023, USDA expects beef exports to be lower than 2022 due to decreased beef production and higher prices. Beef imports are also lower on tight global supplies. Pork imports are slightly higher compared to 2022 while exports are slightly lower. Broiler exports are forecast higher on increased production and lower prices, and turkey exports are forecast slightly higher on increased supplies and a resumption of pre-HPAI trade patterns.

USDA raised its 2022 beef and broiler export forecast while it lowered the pork and turkey export forecast because of recent trade data.

For 2023, cattle prices are forecast above 2022 at $153/cwt. on tighter supplies Hog, broiler, and turkey prices are forecast lower at $71/cwt., $1.49/lb. and $1.49/doz., respectively. USDA said the egg price is forecast lower due to higher expected production.

The 2022 cattle price forecast is raised to $140.10/cwt. on recent data and tighter expected fed cattle supplies later in the year. USDA lowered hog prices to $71.10/cwt. due to prices to date and weaker demand. Broiler and turkey prices, on the other hand, are raised to $1.55/lb. and $1.42/lb., respectively, on stronger prices to date and continued demand strength.

Milk production for 2023 is forecast above 2022 at 229.5 bil. lbs., driven by gains in milk per cow, with the milk cow herd expected to average close to 2022 levels. USDA forecast the Class III price lower on weaker cheese and whey prices. The Class IV price is forecast lower as well, with projections lower than 2022 for butter and non-fat dry milk. The 2023 all milk price is forecast at $23.55/cwt.

USDA raise the 2022 milk production forecast from the previous month to 226.7 bil. lbs, the result of higher milk cow inventories more than offsetting slower growth in milk per cow. USDA said cheese and butter prices are raised from the previous month on strong demand, but non-fat dry milk and whey prices are lowered. The Class III price is unchanged while Class IV is lowered. The 2022 all milk price is forecast at $25.75/cwt.

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