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USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook

18 February 2015

USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - February 2015USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - February 2015

Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook

Beef/Cattle: NASS estimated larger numbers of cattle, and pointed to higher numbers of cattle outside feedlots. This is expected to result in downward pressure on cattle prices during the first half of 2015. NASS also reported more cattle on small grains pastures than has been observed since 2007.

Beef/Cattle Trade: U.S. cattle imports were stronger during December than in the same period a year earlier. The 2014 preliminary estimate for U.S. cattle imports was 2.358 million. U.S. beef imports ended 2014 at 31.0 percent above the previous year, mostly due to higher shipments from Australia, while 2014 exports were slightly below the 2013 level.

Pork/Hogs: Accelerating production of competing proteins—in broiler and poultry production in particular, along with slowing pork exports and smaller declines in 2015 beef production—are likely to drag hog prices down this year. For 2015, hog prices are expected to average $54-58 per cwt, over 26 percent below prices last year. U.S. pork exports in 2014 were almost 3 percent below a year ago. Exports were likely lower from reduced domestic pork supplies and by the high-valued exchange rate of the U.S. dollar. U.S. exports in 2015 are expected to be below a year ago.

Poultry: Broiler meat production in December showed an increase over the previous year, totaling 3.3 billion pounds, 8.2 percent more than the previous year. Production indicators suggest continued growth in the coming year. Turkey meat production in 2015 is forecast to total 6.1 billion pounds, up 5.6 percent from 2014. The forecast is an increase of 150 million pounds from the previous estimate as lower feed costs and energy prices are expected to encourage higher production. Table egg production is expected to increase (2 percent) in 2015, reaching 7.3 billion dozen, up from 7.2 billion dozen in 2014. The production growth is expected to come from increases in hens in the table egg flock and in the rate of eggs produced per bird.

Poultry Trade: Turkey and egg and egg product shipments in December were up from a year ago, while broiler shipments were down compared with a year earlier. Broiler shipments totaled 562.4 million pounds in December 2014, a decrease of 1.6 percent from a year earlier. Turkey shipments increased 32 percent from a year ago, totaling 71.6 million pounds, while egg and egg product exports totaled 50.6 million dozen in December 2014, a 36-percent increase from the previous December.

Sheep/Lamb: On January 1, 2015, the U.S. sheep industry registered its first increase since 2006. Breeding sheep inventory increased by 35,000 head. This included a 15,000-head increase in replacement lambs under 1 year old, a sign of expansion. The burgeoning of the breeding sheep inventory is expected to result in continued tight supplies of lamb and mutton meat and to maintain strong slaughter lamb prices in 2015.

Dairy: Milk production for 2015 is forecast at 211.5 billion pounds, 2.7 percent more than in 2014 but 0.2 billion pounds less than last month’s forecast. The Class IV milk forecast for 2015 has been lowered to $15.10-$15.90 per cwt as lower nonfat dry milk (NDM) prices are expected to more than offset higher butter prices. The 2015 Class III milk forecast has been raised to $16.30-$17.00 per cwt based upon higher expected whey prices. The all-milk price for 2015 is forecast at $17.40-$18.10 per cwt, a reduction from last month’s forecast of $17.75-$18.55 per cwt.

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