USDA’s broiler production forecast for next year is now 36.055 billion pounds, 30 million pounds more than USDA’s October estimate and 1.2 percent less than the revised production level of 36.494 billion pounds for 2012, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report today from the Department’s World Agricultural Outlook Board. When USDA made its first forecast for 2013 broiler production in May this year, the Board put output at 37.099 billion pounds, 2.5 percent ahead of the estimated production for 2012 at that time. The current broiler production estimates for 2012 is 0.8 percent below the 36.803 billion pounds in 2011.

USDA’s forecast for broiler exports for 2012 and 2013 were raised in today’s report with 7.195  billion pounds and 7.050 billion pounds for this year and next year, respectively. The increases over last month’s forecasts are 117 million pounds for 2012 and 100 million pounds for 2013.  Analysts forecast the expected 12-city wholesale average price for whole broilers for 2013 to be 85-92 cents per pound compared with 85-91 cents per pound last month. For 2012, USDA sees 85.2 cents per pound compared with 79.0 cents per pound in 2011. The latest forecast for the 2012 price is up 1 cent per pound from last month’s report.

The Board’s forecast for beef production for 2012 and 2013 were both trimmed from last month’s report. For 2012, beef production is now likely to be 25.683 billion pounds, 6 million pounds less than last month’s estimate and 2.3 percent less than the 26.292 billion pounds in 2011. For 2013, beef production could be 24.616 billion pounds, 110 million pounds less than the October forecast and 4.2 percent under this year’s production.

Pork production forecasts for 2012 and 2013  were also both reduced from last month’s outlook. Pork production this year is put at 23.275 billion pounds, 39 million pounds less than the October report and 2.2 percent more than the 22.775 billion pounds in 2011. Pork production next year was reduced by 60 million pounds from the October report to 22.957 billion pounds, which is 1.4 percent less than the expected 2012 production.

Total red meat and poultry production for 2012 was adjusted upward from last month. Combined meat and poultry for this year is estimated at 92.157 billion pounds, 115 million pounds more than seen in October and 0.3 percent less than the 92.397 billion pounds in 2011. For 2013, the Board now expects 90.137 billion pounds, 152 million pounds less than the month earlier report and 2.2 percent less than the 92.157 billion pounds in 2012.

Commenting on the livestock/poultry outlook, the Board noted that lower cattle placements in second half-2012 are expected to result in lower steer and heifer slaughter during first-half 2013.  Contributing to less pork production will be slightly lower average hog weights going forward.  Hatchery data points to a smaller-than-expected reduction in broilers for slaughter, analysts explained.  Broiler export forecasts were raised for 2012 and 2013 on “strong sales to a number of markets”, the report said.