USDA tweaks forecast for meat, poultry, crop production for 2016

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 164 views 

Meat and poultry processes are expected to turn out less beef, pork and chicken this year, while turkey production is  projected higher, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday (Sept. 9).

Beef production is forecast lower on lower expected third quarter steer and heifer slaughter. Beef import forecasts for this year and next were unchanged in the report. Beef exports for 2016 are higher thanks to improving trade prospects with a number of countries. Excess supplies have lowered average steer price projections to between $116 and $126 per hundredweight, down $2 from last month.

Broiler production, which is big business in Arkansas as the No. 2 production state for this commodity, is expected to slow for the remainder of the year. There is excess supply on the market and prices are lower year-over-year as exports remain sluggish for U.S. chicken. Turkey production is slightly higher than a year ago based on recent hatchery data. If demand for turkey does not increase, prices of this meat protein will suffer in the coming months.

Pork production for the year has also been lowered primarily because of lower carcass weights reported for the third quarter. The USDA quarterly Hog Report will be released Sept. 30 and provide more detail. The average price projections for hogs are $1 per hundredweight lower at $47. Pork exports are expected to slow toward the end of the year.

Two grains most heavily used in animal production, corn and soybeans also had their forecasts changed in the recent report. The national corn crop is expected to be robust at 15.093 million bushels. Feed and residual use is expected to be 25 million bushels lower on higher than expected prices. The projected range for the season-average corn price received by producers was raised 5 cents on both ends to $2.90 to $3.50 per bushel.

The USDA raised its soybean production forecast to a record 4,201 million bushels, up 141 million, due to a higher yield forecast. The U.S. season-average soybean price was forecast at $8.30 to $9.80 per bushel, down 5 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices were also projected lower at $300 to $340 per short ton, down $5.