The January Cattle inventory report estimated that total cattle and calf numbers on January 1, 2017 increased for the third consecutive year. Beef cow numbers were above 2016, and producers indicated they were holding more heifers for addition to the breeding herd. The report also indicated a year-over-year increase in the number of cattle outside feedlots.
The January Cattle on Feed report showed higher than expected placement numbers in December, implying that larger numbers of fed cattle will be marketed during the spring quarter. Cattle weights are reduced for 2017 as producers are expected to remain current in feedlot marketings.
Pork production in the first quarter is reduced on the current pace of slaughter and slightly lighter carcass weights.
Broiler production is lowered as increases in production in the first quarter are more than offset by reductions in the second half of the year. Table egg production is increased on hatchery data and expectations of relatively favorable returns, but this is more than offset by a lowered hatching egg production forecast. No changes were made to turkey production.
Livestock trade estimates for 2016 are adjusted to reflect December data. For 2017, forecast beef imports are raised on expectations of higher shipments of processing beef from Oceania. Robust demand for U.S. beef supports higher forecast beef exports for the year. No changes are made to pork, poultry and egg trade forecasts.
Cattle, hog, and broiler price forecasts are raised to reflect demand strength. Turkey prices are forecast lower on current prices. Egg prices are increased on current price strength.