USDA raises beef production guess, lowers pork, turkey

The USDA has raised its 2017 beef production outlook, while lowering expectations for pork.

Beef production this year is projected at 26.250 billion pounds, up 250 million on the month, expecting the slaughter pace to stay high levels. The annual price estimate for steers was increased to $114 to $121 per hundredweight thanks to anticipated continued strong demand.

Pork was lowered slightly to 26.105 billion pounds with lower carcass weights cancelling out the high kill rate. The price outlook for barrow and gilts is up slightly from February at $43 to $46 per hundredweight, with the USDA also expecting solid pork demand this year. The USDA also increased 2017 pork and beef export estimates, to 2.725 billion pounds and 5.670 billion pounds, respectively, while lowering pork imports to 1.045 billion pounds and leaving beef at 2.735 billion.

The USDA’s 2017 poultry production estimate was slightly lower than last month at 48.160 billion pounds, with broilers holding at 41.525 billion and turkey production lowered to 6.085 billion pounds, expecting production to slow down in the second half of the year.

Broiler prices are seen at $.83 to $.89 per pound, up from February on demand expectations, and turkey prices were steady to lower at $1.03 to $1.10 because of slow demand and high supplies during the first half of the year. Broiler and turkey export expectations were unchanged, at 6.925 billion and 630 million pounds, respectively.

The USDA’s next set of cold storage estimates is out March 22nd, with livestock slaughter numbers on the 23rd and poultry slaughter figures on the 24th.

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