Broiler production next year is forecast to be 37.074 billion pounds, 297 million pounds less than last month’s forecast, and 0.2 percent above the essentially unchanged estimate of 36.992 billion pounds for 2011, according to USDA “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate” report released this week by USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board. Higher feed costs are causing producers to “limit the sector’s expansion,” the report said.

USDA raised its beef production forecasts for 2011 and 2012  slightly as “continued large cow slaughter” is boosting beef production, the report stated.  At the same time, analysts trimmed pork production for this year and next year as slaughter numbers have slowed and heat stress led to lighter weights.  Combined meat and poultry production in 2012 is now forecast at 91.673 billion pounds, 366 million pounds less than last month’s forecast and 0.9 percent under the revised 2011 forecast of 92.479 billion pounds.

Broiler exports for 2012 at 6.700 billion pounds were left unchanged from last month’s forecast, while the board trimmed its 2011 estimate slightly to 6.464 billion pounds.  Next year’s 12-city wholesale broiler price is now expected to average between 82-88 cents per pound, while the comparable price for 2011 is estimated at 80-81 cents per pound.