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USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook

17 April 2015

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

Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook

Beef/Cattle: Because of disproportionate placements of heavy feeder cattle in feedlots, relatively inexpensive corn, and historically low cattle on feed inventories, cattle feeders have been able to retain fed cattle to heavier weights, and packers have paid prices higher than are consistent with increases in wholesale cutout values. As a result, narrow-tonegative profit margins persist despite record price levels for virtually all of the cattle/beef complex.

Beef/Cattle Trade: U.S. cattle imports were weaker during February than in the same period a year earlier. U.S. beef imports in February were 48.8 percent higher than the previous year, mostly due to increased shipments from Australia, while February beef exports were below those of last year.

Pork/Hogs: USDA’s March 27th Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report showed inventories, farrowing intentions, and litter rates that will likely lead to larger 2015 pork production and lower hog prices compared with 2014. February pork exports lagged year-ago volumes, likely due to relatively high exchange rate values of the U.S. dollar and a slowdown at West Coast port facilities.

Poultry: Broiler meat production totaled 6.3 billion pounds in the first 2 months of 2015, 2 percent higher than in the same period in 2014, based on relatively small increases in the number of birds slaughtered and their average liveweight. After being lower on a year-over-year basis for most of 2014, broiler cold storage holdings at the end of February totaled 696 million pounds, up 7 percent from the previous year. U.S. turkey meat production in firstquarter 2015 is now estimated at 1.4 billion pounds, 25 million pounds less than the previous estimate but 7 percent higher than a year earlier. Turkey cold storage holdings at the end of February were 323 million pounds, an increase of 4 percent from a year earlier. The wholesale price for one dozen large eggs in the New York region averaged $1.47 in first-quarter 2015, 3 percent higher than in first-quarter 2014.

Poultry Trade: Turkey and broiler shipments in February were down from a year ago, while egg and egg product shipments were up compared with a year earlier. Broiler shipments totaled 496.4 million pounds in February 2015, a decrease of 17.0 percent from a year earlier. Turkey shipments decreased 7.6 percent from a year ago, totaling 47.8 million pounds, while egg and egg product exports totaled 31.6 million dozen in February 2015, a 12.0-percent increase from the previous February.

Dairy: Milk production for 2015 is forecast at 210.0 billion pounds, 1.9 percent higher than the 2014 level of 206.0 billion pounds but 1.1 billion pounds less than forecast last month. Forecasts for exports have been reduced, while forecasts for imports on a milk-fat milk-equivalent basis have been raised. The Class III milk price forecast is raised to $16.20-$16.70 per hundredweight (cwt), and the Class IV milk price forecast is lowered to $14.45-$15.05 per cwt. The all-milk price for 2015 is forecast at $17.10-$17.60 per cwt, unchanged from last month’s forecast at the midpoint of the range.

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