The Cattle Range Home Page
February 8, 2018
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USDA World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates

LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY:  The 2018 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, as higher forecast broiler production more than offsets lower beef, pork, and turkey production.  The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month, as expected lower second-half beef production more than offsets higher first-half beef production.  NASS’s Cattle report, released January 31, estimated the U.S. cattle inventory continued to increase for the fourth consecutive year, but the report also indicated that fewer numbers of cattle were being held outside feedlots.  The number of cattle placed on feed in the first part of 2018 is expected to be lower, resulting in lower marketings and beef production in the second half of the year.  The January NASS Cattle on Feed report showed year-over-year increases in placement numbers in December, implying higher numbers of fed cattle will likely be marketed during the spring quarter.  Cattle weights are raised for the first half of 2018 on current weight patterns.  Pork production is reduced on the pace of slaughter to date.  Broiler production is raised largely on continued growth in bird weights.  First-half turkey production is reduced on hatchery data.  

For 2018, beef exports are raised as demand from several key trading partners is expected to remain robust; no change is made to the beef import forecast.  Pork import and export forecasts are unchanged from last month.  First-half broiler export forecasts are raised on expectations of strong demand while turkey exports are reduced on the slow pace of recovery in exports in late-2017 and lower production in 2018.  Livestock, poultry, and egg trade estimates for 2017 are adjusted to reflect December trade data. 

Fed-cattle prices for the first half of 2018 are raised from last month on continued demand strength.  First-quarter hog and broiler price forecasts are raised from last month on stronger prices to date.  The first-quarter turkey price is also raised, but the annual forecast remains unchanged.  Egg price forecasts are also raised on continued robust demand.

WHEAT:  Projected 2017/18 U.S. ending stocks are raised this month by 20 million bushels as higher food use is more than offset by lower exports, while export forecasts for several major competitors are increased.  Estimated food use is increased by 5 million bushels to 955 million, based on the NASS Flour Milling Products report, which indicated higher-than-expected use in the first half of 2017/18.  Additionally, implied flour extraction rates were lower in the second quarter, as compared to last year, and a continuation of this trend is expected to support increased wheat for food usage into the second half of 2017/18.  No other supply or use categories are changed this month.  Based on NASS prices reported to date and price expectations for the rest of the marketing year, the projected season-average farm price (SAFP) remains unchanged at the midpoint of $4.60 per bushel.  However, the projected SAFP range is narrowed by 5 cents at both ends of the range to $4.55 to $4.65. 

Global 2017/18 wheat supplies increased, primarily on higher production forecasts for Argentina and Ukraine.  Argentina’s wheat production increased by 500,000 tons to 18.0 million based on higher-than-expected yields from the later harvest stages.  Ukraine wheat production increased 481,000 tons to 27.0 million based on updated government data.   

World 2017/18 trade is raised this month as higher exports from Russia, Argentina, and Canada more than offset reduced exports from the EU and the United States.  Projected imports are increased for Indonesia and several African countries while reduced for India, the EU, Iran, Brazil, and Mexico.  Indonesia’s imports are raised 1.0 million tons to 12.5 million on increases for both food and feed use.  Indonesia is now the leading global wheat importer, surpassing Egypt, the traditional leader.  Total world consumption is projected 3.1 million tons higher, primarily on greater usage from Indonesia and China.  Projected global ending stocks are 1.9 million tons lower this month at 266.1 million but remain significantly higher than a year ago. 

COARSE GRAINS:  This month’s 2017/18 U.S. corn outlook is for increased exports and reduced stocks.  Exports are raised 125 million bushels, reflecting U.S. price competitiveness and reduced exports for Argentina and Ukraine.  With no other use changes, U.S. corn ending stocks are lowered 125 million bushels from last month.  The season-average corn price received by producers is projected at $3.30 per bushel, up 5 cents at the midpoint.  The U.S. sorghum supply, use, and midpoint price forecasts are unchanged relative to last month.  
Global coarse grain production for 2017/18 is projected 2.3 million tons lower to 1,321.9 million.  This month’s foreign coarse grain outlook is for lower production, greater consumption, and lower stocks relative to last month.  Global corn production is lowered 2.8 million tons largely reflecting reductions for Argentina and Ukraine.  For Argentina, persistent heat and dryness during January and early February reduced yield prospects for early-planted corn in key central growing areas.  Production is lowered for Ukraine based on the latest official statistics.  Small increases for Moldova, Mexico, Bangladesh, and Thailand are partly offsetting. Barley production is raised for Argentina.  Mexico sorghum production is increased. 
Major global trade changes for 2017/18 include higher projected corn exports for the United States and Brazil, with reductions for Argentina and Ukraine.  Corn imports are raised for Turkey, the EU, and Brazil.  Foreign corn ending stocks are down from last month, mostly reflecting reductions for Argentina and Ukraine that more than offset increases for Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey.  Global corn ending stocks, at 203.1 million tons, are down 3.5 million from last month.

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