Broiler production next year is now forecast to be 38.335 billion pounds, 99 million pounds less than last month’s forecast and 2.5 percent above the revised upward estimate of 37.404 billion pounds for 2013, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from USDA’s chief economist yesterday. The 37.404 billion pounds for 2013 would be 2.1 percent above the 36.643 billion pounds of broiler production in 2012. USDA analysts said production was adjusted for their forecast as soybean meal prices are likely to be higher, implying that increased feed costs will squeeze profit margins and their incentive to step out broiler numbers next year.

Broiler exports for 2014 are forecast to remain unchanged from USDA’s August report while the 2013 estimates were trimmed as “recent exports lagged expectations,” according to USDA. More specifically, next year’s broiler exports are forecast to be 7.550 billion pounds while 2013 exports are now seen at 7.385 billion pounds, 100 million pounds less than last month’s estimate for this year. If 2014 exports are 7.550 billion pounds, this would represent a 2.2-percent increase over this year and, if 2013 exports are 7.385 billion, they would be 2.9 percent over the 7.174 billion pounds in 2012.

Despite the trimming of its production forecast for 2014, USDA did not adjust its price outlook for broilers for the coming year. Analysts continue to expect the wholesale broiler price, national composite weighted average to be 89-97 cents per pound for 2014. For 2013, the price forecast is now 98-100 cents per pound for 2013, which is now 2 cents less on the bottom of the range and 3 cents less on the top end of the range when compared with the August estimate for 2013.