The agency said cow slaughter is expected to remain strong during the first half of 2014 on favorable cull cow prices. But pork production is expected to decline as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (
PEDv) continues to spread, USDA reported. Additionally, broiler production is forecast to decline on slower growth in slaughter, while turkey production is expected to decline as turkey eggs set and poult placements trail year-ago totals.
The export forecast for pork was lowered on tight supplies and expectations that high prices will reduce competitiveness in the market, USDA reported. Broiler exports also were forecast lower on weaker-than-expected December exports and recent weakness in leg quarter prices, a reflection of soft demand. USDA left beef import and exports forecasts for 2014 unchanged from January. Turkey exports also were unchanged.
USDA forecasted higher prices for cattle, hogs and poultry in 2014. Higher cattle prices reflect tight supplies and strong prices for fed cattle. Hog prices will rise on smaller supplies of market and hogs and strong demand for pork. Broiler and turkey prices are forecast to gain on strong demand and smaller supplies of competing proteins in 2014, USDA noted.