The 2012 forecast is raised $200 million since November, as higher-than-expected unit value will more than offset lower export volume. The average export unit value is raised as higher priced contracts from last year work their way through to shipment. Export volume is lowered due to the drought. The 2012 export forecast for livestock, poultry, and dairy is raised $1.9 billion from 2011 to a record $29.2 billion.
Compared with the November forecast, the forecast is up $1.3 billion, with gains in all categories, but most significantly for dairy, poultry, and cattle.
The dairy products forecast is raised $400 million due to stronger-than-anticipated exports of cheese, whey, lactose, and nonfat dry milk. Strong import demand from Asia and Mexico is expected to continue to drive exports.
For poultry products, higher unit values, partnered with escalating Asian demand, lead to an increase of over $300 million.
Other livestock products are revised higher by more than $300 million, mostly on surging live cattle exports (largely breeding cattle to Russia and Turkey). Pork exports are raised $100 million on greater volumes to Asia.