USDA’s broiler production forecast for 2013 was increased to 36.406 billion pounds, 351 million pounds above the department’s estimate last month, but is 0.4 percent less than the unrevised estimate of 36.544 billion pounds for 2012, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report released today from the World Agricultural Outlook Board. USDA’s current broiler production estimate for 2012 at 36.544 billion pounds is 0.7 percent below the 36.803 billion pounds in 2011.

USDA’s forecast for broiler exports for 2012 and 2013 continued unchanged from the December 2012 report with 2012 exports at 7.195  billion pounds and 2013 exports at 7.050 billion pounds. USDA analysts forecast the expected 12-city wholesale average price for whole broilers for 2013 to be 90-96 cents per pound compared with 88-94 cents per pound last month. For 2012, USDA’s estimated whole broiler price is 86.6 cents per pound, 0.2 cents per pound lower than its December report and  compares with 79.9 cents per pound in 2011. Broiler prices were raised for 2013 “on expected demand strength,” the report noted.

The forecast from USDA’s outlook board for beef production for 2012 and 2013 were both increased from last month’s report. For 2012, beef production is now likely to be 26.013 billion pounds, 45 million pounds more than last month’s estimate and 0.1 percent less than the 26.292 billion pounds in 2011. For 2013, beef production is now forecast to be 24.901 billion pounds, 220 million pounds more than the December forecast and 4.3 percent under 2012’s expected production.

The forecast for pork production for 2012 and 2013  were both raised from last month’s outlook. Pork production for 2012 is now put at 23.265 billion pounds, 70 million pounds more than the December report and 2.2 percent more than the 22.775 billion pounds in 2011. Estimated pork production for 2013 was increased by 510 million pounds from the December report to 23.302 billion pounds, which is 0.2 percent more than the expected 2012 production.

Total red meat and poultry production for 2012 was again adjusted upward from the previous month’s estimate. Combined meat and poultry for last year is estimated at 92.535 billion pounds, 116 million pounds more than the December estimate and 0.2 percent higher than the 92.397 billion pounds in 2011. For 2013, the board now expects poultry and meat production combined to be 91.326 billion pounds, 1.289 billion pounds more than the month earlier report but 1.3 percent less than the 92.535 billion pounds in 2012.

Commenting on the livestock and poultry outlook, the board noted that its broiler production estimate this year was raised because higher wholesale broiler prices are expected and with lower soybean meal prices likely, the “sector profitability” will be enhanced.  Adding to the “higher-than-previously forecast broiler production” will be a continued trend toward heavier average bird weights.  For beef production, heavier carcass weights are also expected to continue.  Contributing to more pork production this year will be slightly heavier average hog carcass weights and a “continued growth in pigs per litter.” Hog producers intend to farrow 1 percent fewer sows during the first half of 2013 compared with first half of 2012, the report noted.