Bloomberg News

USDA Raises Cattle-Price Forecast, Cuts Hog, Chicken Estimates

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cattle prices this year and in 2012 will be higher than the government’s forecast last month as demand climbs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Steer prices may average $1.12 to $1.21 a pound in 2012, up from an estimated $1.1273 a pound this year, the USDA said today in a report. Last month’s projection was $1.10 to $1.19. Beef output may drop 4.9 percent to 25.1 billion pounds next year as feedlot supplies slide and exports increase, the government said.

“Cattle prices are forecast higher for the remainder of 2011 and through 2012,” the USDA said in the report. “Demand remains stronger-than-expected, and the strength is expected to carry into 2012.”

Hog prices will be lower than projected because of higher slaughter rates and increased pork production, the USDA said. The average next year may be 62 cents to 67 cents a pound, down from the September estimate of 62 cents to 68 cents.

Chicken-broiler prices may average 80 cents to 86 cents a pound next year, down from last month’s forecast of 82 cents to 88 cents, as ample supplies outpace “relatively weak” demand, the USDA said.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Steve Stroth

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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