USDA lowered its 2016 forecast for cattle slaughter based on lower year-over-year placement of cattle in feedlots during the fourth quarter and only modest increases expected during the first half of this year.
Higher cow slaughter will partly offset lower fed-cattle slaughter along with heavier carcass weights. Other offsetting factors include increased pork production based on higher-than expected pork slaughter in January and recent hatchery data showing faster-than-expected growth in chicks placed and bird weights, which will raise broiler production.
USDA expects lower world turkey production for 2016.
Prices for cattle are expected to increase during the first quarter of 2016, USDA said in its report. First quarter prices for hogs were lowered on higher supplies of slaughter-ready hogs. However the forecast for the annual price is unchanged, USDA said. Weaker prices for broilers are expected to continue, while turkey prices are unchanged.
Export and import forecasts for beef and pork for the year also are unchanged. USDA lowered its broiler export forecast as South Korea reinstated a ban on imports of uncooked poultry from the US following the re-emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Indiana. Imports of turkey remain unchanged.