WASHINGTON – Higher feed prices are forecasted to slow red meat and poultry production, according to the US Department of Agriculture's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

USDA reduced meat and poultry production forecasts for from July with the expectation that rising feed costs will pressure the pace of pork and poultry expansion and temper growth in weights. Beef production is forecast higher for 2012, according to WASDE. Deteriorating pasture conditions are expected to increase placements in feedlots.

A slight reduction in beef production is forecast for 2013 as the earlier placement of calves in 2012 may in a small adjustment to early 2013 marketings, USDA said. Cattle carcass weights are expected to increase for the first part of 2012, but placement of lighter-weight cattle in feedlots and the higher feed costs may dampen weight growth in 2012 and 2013, USDA said.

Higher feed costs factor in egg production, which is forecast slightly higher for 2012 on stronger prices that will support slightly faster growth. But higher feed costs are forecast to reduce producer returns and egg production in 2013, according to WASDE.

USDA raised its forecast for beef imports for 2012 on strong demand for processing beef and a stronger US dollar which will help support imports from Oceania. Beef exports are reduced from July as exports have slowed. Strong pork exports in April support an increase in the 2012 forecast, according to WASDE.

Pork imports are unchanged, while broiler and turkey exports for 2012 are raised based on current export demand, according to WASDE. Beef, pork, and turkey trade forecasts for 2013 are unchanged from July, but USDA raised its forecast for broiler exports on expectations of continued strong demand.

USDA lowered its price forecasts for cattle, broiler, and turkey compared to July. Hut hog prices are expected to increase. Egg prices are raised as current prices have been stronger than expected and supplies are forecast tighter in the later part of 2012, according to WASDE. For 2013, the cattle price is unchanged, however hog, broiler, and turkey prices are forecast higher from July on tighter supplies. The egg price forecast is raised as the production forecast is reduced.