WASHINGTON — US Dept. of Agriculture Economic Research Service (ERS) released its Livestock, Dairy and Outlook for November. The agency showed that pork production was expanding, and a strong domestic and international demand has kept pork inventories current.

According to the outlook, fourth-quarter pork production will hit a record high at more than 7 billion lbs. or 3.5 percent greater than 2017. Smaller production increases are likely to extend through the first quarter of 2019, for which the pork production forecast was also lowered by 45 million lbs. to 6.85 billion lbs. However, that was still more than 3 percent ahead of production a year earlier.

On the beef production side forecasts for 2018 were lowered by 30 million lbs. to 26.9 billion lbs. The ERS said the revision was made on the numbers as the closeout of the third quarter, along with the fourth-quarter expectations of slightly fewer steers, heifers and bulls to be slaughtered. The 2019 beef production forecast was also lowered by 100 million lbs. to 27.9 billion lbs. for similar reasons.

Decreased broiler production resulted in a revised projection on declining placements of broiler chicks in recent weeks, while prices were increased slightly based on a recent price uptick. Broiler stocks were also increased in response to a large bump in third-quarter ending stocks. No revisions were made to egg production, trade, or price projections.

Turkey production for 2018 was lowered by 24 million lbs. to 5.875 billion lbs., 2 percent below 2017. Turkey production for 2019 was reduced to 80 million lbs. to 5.908 billion lbs., a half- percent increase over the 2018 forecast.

Visit the ERS website for the full 2018 outlook report.