WASDE Forecasts Growth in Red Meat and Poultry Production

( Jennifer Shike, Farm Journal's PORK )

Total U.S. red meat and poultry production for 2020 is forecast above 2019, the USDA reported in its May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on Friday. 

“Given USDA’s projected record pork production for 2019 and again in 2020, it is imperative we have an end to current trade disputes and keep marketing channels current,” says Dustin Baker, director of economics and production issues at the National Pork Producers Council.

The 2019 pork production estimate was lowered slightly in the May WASDE report but expected to grow 3.8% year over year. This report also offered the first look at 2020 production expectations.

Pork production in 2020 is forecast to increase as producers in late 2019 and into 2020 continue to expand hog supplies. At 28.3 billion pounds, USDA is expecting a 3.5% increase year over year again next year. Hog carcass weights are also forecast higher in 2020 as feed prices are forecast lower. 

WASDE also increased pork export forecasts and significantly increased hog price expectations to average $54.5/cwt. this year and $60/cwt. in 2020, Baker says. 

Pork exports are expected to increase in the second half of the year with higher expected sales of pork, offsetting the slower-than-expected pace of exports to date. Small changes are made to beef and pork import forecasts reflecting first-quarter trade data; however, forecasts for the remainder of the year are unchanged. 

The 2019 cattle price forecast is lowered from the previous month on recent price weakness. However, the hog price forecast is raised each quarter on stronger prices to date and expected price support from global pork demand in the second half of the year, the report says. 

WASDE provides the latest projections for production, prices, imports, exports, and per capita consumption for nearly all commodities, including pork. 

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