WASDE: World meat production to rise in 2016

by Erica Shaffer
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Turkeys in a Minnesota grow-out barn
WASDE estimates reflect the impact of avian influenza on poultry and egg markets.

WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for total world meat production in 2016, according to the department's June 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. The forecast for 2015 is lower compared to meat production in May.

USDA lowered beef production for 2015 on reductions in fed cattle slaughter in the second quarter. The agency also expects lower cow and bull slaughter during the year. However, USDA forecasted higher placements of cattle in late 2015 due to improved forage supplies in much of the US. The slaughter of these cattle in 2016 is supportive of higher meat production in the 2016.

USDA said pork production for 2015 will increase on higher-than-expected second-quarter slaughter. Producer farrowing intentions for the remainder of the year will be available in USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report due out June 26.

Hatchery data is signaling an increase in broiler chicken production for 2015 and 2016, according to WASDE. However, USDA lowered its forecast for turkey production in 2015 and 2016 due to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in major turkey-producing states such as Minnesota. The state has reported the loss of nearly 9 million birds since March 4. A majority of the losses have occurred at commercial turkey farms. USDA said “the expected pace of flock recovery results in a reduced 2016 production forecast.”

Avian influenza also has negatively impacted forecasts for egg production for 2015 and 2016. Iowa, a major egg-producing state, reported more than 30 million birds lost to the virus since April 19. Iowa's commercial egg laying farms have been hardest hit.

“...the forecast into 2016 reflects the expected speed at which the flock can be rebuilt,” USDA said.

USDA raised its forecasts for beef imports 2015 and 2016. The agency cited continued demand for processing grade beef as the main driver. The export forecast is unchanged.

Pork imports for 2015 are reduced while exports are expected to rise on the pace of trade, USDA said.

USDA expects lower broiler exports for 2015 on weak demand while the forecast for 2016 is unchanged. Turkey exports are expected to be lower for 2015 and 2016 on tight supplies of turkey due to HPAI.

On meat and poultry prices, USDA said cattle prices for 2015 are lower compared to last month, and the forecast for 2016 is for lower prices on expected increases in supplies of fed cattle. Prices for hogs are expected to remain higher in 2015 and flat for 2016.

USDA said broiler prices are unchanged on strong domestic demand which is expected to absorb increased supplies of broiler meat. USDA raised its forecast for prices for turkey and eggs for 2015 and 2016 due to tighter supplies.

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