WASHINGTON – In its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the US Dept. of Agriculture stated it would increase its forecast for total meat production in 2018.

The report stated that broiler production would more than offset a decline in beef, pork and turkey production.

Broiler production showed an increase in June production data, while third-quarter production is projected growth in bird weights. Egg production also increased in the second quarter.

In the WASDE report, the USDA said that the decline in beef production mainly reflects a slower pace of marketing in the third quarter.

“Cow slaughter is raised, but recent carcass weight data and a larger proportion of cows in the slaughter mix led to a reduction in expected carcass weights during the second half of the year,” the USDA said.

Pork production also reduced on a slower than expected pace of slaughter during the last part of 2018. Turkey product remains on the same path as well with the projection reducing slightly from June.

The USDA said that cattle and turkey prices would stay unchanged for the rest of 2018 and 2019. However, hog and broiler prices are expected to be lowered in the same time period.

The report also highlighted early positive 2019 forecasts. The pork production projection was raised from the previous month due to higher expected hog slaughter in the first part of the year and heavier carcass weights. Beef production forecast was raised as well on heavier carcass weights.

Lower forecast feed prices helped raise the broiler production forecast for next year. The USDA also said turkey and egg production forecast remains unchanged from the previous month. 

Export numbers were also released in the WASDE report showing that beef imports reduced in the June trade data, but the forecasts for the remaining quarters and 2019 remain unchanged. The USDA also said beef export forecasts are raised for the remainder of 2018 and 2019 on expectations of “continued strong global demand.”

In the second quarter of 2018 pork imports were slightly lowered, but forecasts remain unchanged. The expectations for pork export the rest of 2018 and into 2019 decreased slightly due to “expected competition in several markets.”

Finally, broiler and turkey export forecasts were reduced for both 2018 and 2019 on weaker-than-expected demand.