Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook

Farm Forum

Beef/Cattle: Winter storms and holidays have recently disrupted flows of cattle from feedlots to packers and have resulted in rapidly rising fed cattle and beef prices. Cow slaughter in 2013 potentially set the stage for an expected further decline in total cow inventories on January 1, 2014.

Beef/Cattle Trade: The 2013 estimate for U.S. cattle imports was raised to 1.99 million head due to stronger imports in the fourth quarter. U.S. beef exports are up 4 percent this year through November and are estimated at 2.534 billion pounds in 2013. U.S. beef imports have risen 1 percent in 2013 and are forecast to increase marginally in 2014.

Pork/Hogs: Higher first-half 2014 farrowing intentions indicated in the December Hogs and Pigs report, combined with expected higher slaughter weights, are expected to result in year-over-year higher pork production in 2014. However, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) remains a significant source of production uncertainty. November exports were 2.9 percent below a year earlier. Shipments to Mexico in November were record-high.

Poultry: Broiler meat production totaled 3.0 billion pounds in November, a decline of 1.4 percent from the previous year. Over the first 11 months of 2013, broiler meat production reached 34.7 billion pounds, 1.6 percent higher than during the same period in 2012. Turkey meat production in November totaled 478 million pounds, down 7.2 percent from the previous year. The turkey production estimate for fourth-quarter 2013 was revised downward by 25 million pounds to 1.425 billion pounds, a decline of 7.3 percent from fourth-quarter 2012. Total turkey cold storage holdings were 219 million pounds at the end of November, down over 14 percent from the previous year, as stocks of whole birds and turkey products were lower.

Poultry Trade: Broiler and egg product shipments in November were up from a year ago, while turkey exports were down. Broiler shipments totaled 639.6 million pounds in November 2013, an increase of 1.6 percent from a year earlier. Turkey shipments declined 8.6 percent from a year ago, totaling 69.6 million pounds, while egg exports totaled 39.2 million dozen in November 2013, a 58.3 percent increase from last November.

Dairy: Cow numbers remain unchanged from December, but yields are increased fractionally from last month’s forecast, raising the 2014 production estimate. 2014 exports on both a fats and skims-solids basis are raised on continued robust international demand. Prices for cheese, butter, and nonfat dry milk are raised for 2014 in light of expected demand. Correspondingly, milk prices are also raised.