Production increases in the U.S. beef, pork, and broiler industries expected in 2018 will likely lead to larger quantities of red meat and poultry available to U.S. consumers, according to the latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook.

Poultry and red meat disappearance is calculated as the volume of meat and poultry production that remains for domestic use after subtracting net trade and changes in cold storage volumes. Dividing this residual by the U.S. population yields the per capita quantity, which is used in the domestic market. For 2018, that per capita quantity is projected to be the equivalent of 222.8 pounds, the highest since the series calculation began.

The most important factors driving per capita disappearance this year are forecast increases in year-over-year production of beef (+6.1 percent), pork (+5.4 percent), and broiler meat (+2.1 percent).

Per capita disappearance is entirely a supply statistic and does not take account of waste or nonfood uses of livestock meat products. It imparts no information about prices, tastes and preferences, and other factors that ultimately determine how much red meat and poultry individual consumers will choose to buy and consume.

Broiler production and weights were up again in November, as were exports, contributing to higher projected production and exports. Early January price data supported increased 2018 projections. Table egg production resumed expansion in November, and exports were robust as expected. Projected egg production was increased, and price surges in December contributed to higher 2018 projections. The turkey production forecast for 2017 was reduced by 10 million pounds to 5.987 billion pounds; the 2018 forecast was reduced 25 million pounds to 6.0 billion pounds.