USDA’s broiler production forecast for 2013 was trimmed this month and is now expected to be 37.504 billion pounds, 15 million pounds less than the department’s estimate last month, but 2.3 percent more than the 36.643 billion pounds for 2012, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report issued this week from the World Agricultural Outlook Board. USDA’s broiler production estimate for 2012 at 36.643 billion pounds is 0.4 percent below the 36.804 billion pounds in 2011. USDA lowered its broiler production forecast for this year  because first quarter production is now estimated to be lower than previously expected, thus signaling the change for the annual estimate.

USDA is now estimating broiler exports for 2013 to be 7.200 billion pounds, 50 million pounds less than the March 2013 report and 1.1 percent under the 2012 exports of  7.281 billion pounds. Expected higher broiler prices will likely cause overseas sales to be reduced. Last year’s exports were 4.4 percent higher than in 2011, when exports were 6.971 billion pounds.

Despite USDA leaving broiler production estimates for the second, third, and fourth quarters unchanged from last month’s report, analysts bumped-up their forecast for the annual 12-city wholesale average price for whole broilers for 2013. This wholesale price will likely be between 98-103 cents per pound, compared with 92-98 cents per pound last month, a 6-cent increase on the lower end and a 5-cent increase on the high end. The broiler price range was raised as USDA sees “robust current prices and demand” for broiler products.  For 2012, USDA reported a whole broiler price of 86.6 cents per pound and 6.7 cents above the 79.9 cents per pound in 2011.

Beef production for 2013 is forecast to decrease from last month’s report. For 2013, beef production is now likely to be 24.976 billion pounds, 230 million pounds less than last month’s estimate and 4.0 percent less than the unrevised estimate of 26.009  billion pounds in 2012. Beef production at 26.009 billion pounds in 2012 is a 1.1 percent decrease from the 26.292 billion pounds in 2011.

On the other hand, USDA forecasts that pork production for 2013 will be 23.522 billion pounds, 130 million pounds more than last month’s outlook and 1.1 percent more than the 23.268 billion pounds in 2012. Pork production for 2012 at 23.268 billion pounds is 2.2 percent more than the 22.775 billion pounds in 2011.

With lower forecasts for broiler, beef, and turkey production, total red meat and poultry production for 2013 was adjusted downward from the March report. Combined meat and poultry production for this year is forecast at 92.829 billion pounds, 175 million pounds less than the March estimate but 0.2 percent higher than the unrevised estimate of 92.613 billion pounds for last year. With the combined poultry and meat production estimate at 92.613 billion pounds for 2012, production was 0.2 percent more than the 92.399 billion pounds in 2011.

The outlook board explained in this month’s report that less beef production is seen as lower expected fed cattle and bull slaughter will more than offset greater cow slaughter. Pork production’s increase is fueled by a smaller than previously expected decline in the number of sows farrowing during first half 2013 and hog weights moving heavier as feed costs improve.