August 14, 2008
USDA raises forecast for beef and pork production, export

US beef and pork production will increase in both 2008 and 2009, according to the recent World Agriculture Supply and Demand report by the USDA.


US pork production forecast for 2008 has been increased by 78 million pounds to 23.556 billion pounds from 23.478 billion pounds, while forecast for 2009 jumped by 275 million pounds to 23.025 billion from 22.75 billion pounds.


Supporting increased slaughter at slightly heavier weights than expected last month and hog prices boosted by a healthy demand, are the reasons behind the raising of the 2008 forecasts, the report said.


Pork production forecast is raised for 2009 as demand is expected to be strong and support increased slaughter. Weaker grain prices are also projected to moderate previously expected hog production declines in 2009.


US pork export forecast for 2008 has increased to 5.4 billion pounds from 4.5 billion pounds last month, while projections for 2009 has jumped to 5.1 billion pounds from 4.13 billion pounds last month. Exports are projected to increase sharply on expectations of continued strong demand from Asia, USDA said.


USDA expects prices for barrows and gilts to average US$53-55 per cwt in the third quarter of 2008 and to fall to US$47-49 in the fourth quarter. USDA expects prices to average US$51-56 in 2009.


US beef production forecast was boosted by 122 million pounds to 26.668 billion pounds from 26.566 billion pounds, while 2009 forecast was raised 165 million pounds to 26.55 billion pounds from 26.385 billion pounds.

USDA expects a slower-than-expected pace of feedlot marketing early this year to lead to more fed beef production in the second half of 2008, and that higher cow slaughter will support higher beef production.


Beef exports for 2008 are expected to reach 1.725 billion pounds, up from 1.7 billion pounds, while shipments for 2009 are projected to hit 1.91 billion pounds, up from 1.89 billion pounds.

USDA expects prices for choice steers to average US$95-97 per cwt in the third quarter of 2008 and US$94-100 per cwt in the fourth quarter. Prices in 2009 are expected to average US$92-100 per cwt.

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