USDA’s broiler production forecast for 2013 was increased again this month and is now expected to be 37.519 billion pounds, 618 million pounds above the Department’s estimate last month, and 2.2 percent more than the slightly revised upward estimate of 36.643 billion pounds for 2012, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report issued today 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 raised its broiler production forecast for this year because “producers are expected to respond to stronger forecast first-half broiler prices and lower projected second-half feed meal prices,” the report explained.

USDA’s forecast for broiler exports for 2013 (7.250 billion pounds) was left unchanged from the February 2013 report. Exports for 2012 were increased slightly to 7.281 billion pounds. Last year’s exports were 4.4 percent higher than in 2011, when exports were 6.971 billion pounds.

Despite the expected increase in broiler production this year, USDA analysts left their forecast for the annual 12-city wholesale average price for whole broilers for 2013 unchanged from last month. This price will likely be between 92-98 cents per pound. However, they noted that “prices are raised in the first half on strong demand, but are reduced in the second half on production increases.”  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 increase slightly from last month’s report. For 2013, beef production is now likely to be 25.206 billion pounds, 15 million pounds more than last month’s estimate but 3.1 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.

USDA’s forecast for pork production for 2013 was trimmed slightly from last month’s outlook. Nonetheless, pork production for this year (23.392 billion pounds) will likely be 124 million pounds more than the February report forecast and 0.5 percent more than the unrevised estimate of 23.268 billion pounds in 2012. With estimated pork production for 2012 left unchanged from last month’s report, 2012 pork production was 2.2  percent more than in 2011.

With higher forecasts for broiler, beef, and turkey production, total red meat and poultry production for 2013 was again adjusted upward from the previous month’s estimate. Combined meat and poultry production for this year is forecast at 93.004 billion pounds, 732 million pounds more than the February estimate and 0.8 percent higher than the slightly revised 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 reiterated in this month’s report that heavier beef carcass weights are continuing to add to beef production. Steer and heifer slaughter was reduced but cow slaughter continues to run ahead of previous expectations. Hog slaughter, however, will likely be lower in first quarter 2013 than was seen last month.


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