Broiler production next year is forecast to be 36.604 billion pounds, 470 million pounds less than the September forecast and 1.0 percent less than the slightly revised downward estimate of 36.942 billion pounds for 2011, according to USDA’s “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimatesreport this week from the World Agricultural Outlook Board.

Analysts said a weakened broiler price forecast led to the further pull back in next year’s production outlook.

Continued drought conditions in much of the Southern Plains and high hay prices will likely keep beef cattle slaughter running ahead of previous expectations for the remainder of 2011 and into first quarter 2012.  Hog slaughter is also at a pace that should lead to higher pork production.  More pigs per litter will be a key factor adding to pork production next year, the report explained.

Total red meat production for 2011 was increased by 114 million pounds from last month’s report to 49.377 billion pounds, 0.4 percent above the 49.183 billion pounds in 2010.  In 2012, the board now expects 48.504 billion pounds, 80 million over the September report and 1.8 percent less than the revised estimate for 2011.  Total poultry and red meat production this year will likely be 92.559 billion pounds, 80 million pounds more than the previous month’s estimate and 0.9 percent above the 91.772 billion pounds in 2010.  For 2012, total poultry and red meat production is forecast now at 91.283 billion pounds, 390 million pounds less than last month’s forecast and 1.4 percent  lower than the estimate for 2011.

Broiler exports for 2011 were raised to 6.539 billion pounds, up 75 million pounds from the September estimate and 3.3 percent under the 6.765 billion pounds in 2010.  Broiler exports for 2012 were left unchanged at 6.700 billion pounds, 2.5 percent ahead of the revised estimate for 2011.  Wholesale broiler prices for 2012 are forecast to average between 80-86 cents per pound, 12-city whole bird average, 2 cents lower on each end of the price range when compared with the previous month’s estimate.  For 2011, the comparable price in this month’s report is 79.1 cents per pound, compared with last month’s range of 80-81 cents per pound.  In 2010, the wholesale, broiler price was 82.9 cents per pound.  Board analysts said that broiler supplies remain relatively large and demand relatively weak.  Price recovery next year is expected to be on a slower pace than forecast last month, the report concluded.

In yesterday’s “Daily Livestock” report, analysts Steve Meyer and Len Steiner commented on the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report, saying that “two things are worth highlighting: a) the decline in domestic per capita disappearance will continue to underpin the outlook for the higher protein prices in 2012; and b) as consumers shift to lower priced protein items, it is likely we will see even more significant price  inflation for things such as ground beef, pork trim, and chicken dark meat and trimmings.”