Estimated red meat and poultry production for 2016 was adjusted to reflect December slaughter data. Total red meat and poultry production for 2017 is lowered, largely reflecting decreased pork and poultry forecasts. Beef production is raised. Placements and marketings for the year are raised, resulting in higher cattle slaughter.
The January Cattle inventory report estimated that total cattle and calf numbers on January 1, 2017 increased for the third consecutive year. Beef cow numbers were above 2016, and producers indicated they were holding more heifers for addition to the breeding herd. The report also indicated a year-over-year increase in the number of cattle outside feedlots.
The January Cattle on Feed report showed higher than expected placement numbers in December, implying that larger numbers of fed cattle will be marketed during the spring quarter. Cattle weights are reduced for 2017 as producers are expected to remain current in feedlot marketings.
Livestock trade estimates for 2016 are adjusted to reflect December data. For 2017, forecast beef imports are raised on expectations of higher shipments of processing beef from Oceania. Robust demand for U.S. beef supports higher forecast beef exports for the year. No changes are made to pork, poultry and egg trade forecasts.
Cattle, hog, and broiler price forecasts are raised to reflect demand strength. Turkey prices are forecast lower on current prices. Egg prices are increased on current price strength.