The 2018 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, as higher forecast broiler production more than offsets lower beef, pork, and turkey production.

The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month, as expected lower second-half beef production more than offsets higher first-half beef production, according to USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report.

NASS’s Cattle report, released January 31, estimated the U.S. cattle inventory continued to increase for the fourth consecutive year, but the report also indicated that fewer numbers of cattle were being held outside WASDE-574-4 feedlots.

The number of cattle placed on feed in the first part of 2018 is expected to be lower, resulting in lower marketings and beef production in the second half of the year. The January NASS Cattle on Feed report showed year-over-year increases in placement numbers in December, implying higher numbers of fed cattle will likely be marketed during the spring quarter.

Cattle weights are raised for the first half of 2018 on current weight patterns. Pork production is reduced on the pace of slaughter to date. Broiler production is raised largely on continued growth in bird weights. First-half turkey production is reduced on hatchery data. First-quarter egg production is reduced on a slower laying rate. Estimates of 2017 meat and egg production are adjusted to reflect December data.

For 2018, beef exports are raised as demand from several key trading partners is expected to remain robust; no change is made to the beef import forecast. Pork import and export forecasts are unchanged from last month. First-half broiler export forecasts are raised on expectations of strong demand while turkey exports are reduced on the slow pace of recovery in exports in late-2017 and lower production in 2018. Livestock, poultry, and egg trade estimates for 2017 are adjusted to reflect December trade data.

Fed-cattle prices for the first half of 2018 are raised from last month on continued demand strength. First-quarter hog and broiler price forecasts are raised from last month on stronger prices to date. The first-quarter turkey price is also raised, but the annual forecast remains unchanged. Egg price forecasts are also raised on continued robust demand.