May broiler production is estimated at nearly 3.8 million pounds, a 2.3 percent increase year-over-year. This growth was comprised of a 1.1 percent year-over-year increase in birds slaughtered and a 1.1 percent increase in average live bird weights.

For June, weekly preliminary slaughter data from the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service suggest that bird weights will continue to be up year over year, driven by a sizeable year over year gain (more than 6 percentage points) in the percent share of large bird (6.26 pounds and higher) slaughter. Based on expectations for higher bird weights in June, the second quarter production forecast was revised up to 10.9 billion pounds.

While year-over-year bird weight gains are expected to persist into the third and fourth quarter, weekly eggs set data suggest that birds available for slaughter may be lower than previously expected in the coming months. For the first 5 months of 2019, the year-over-year increase in eggs set averaged 1.5 percent; however, this growth has slowed in recent weeks (see charts). In particular, year over year growth over the last 4 weeks averaged only 0.5 percent. The slowdown in weekly eggs set is likely in response to low wholesale prices. However, it is expected that the fewer-than-expected birds available for slaughter will be offset by continued gains is bird weights in the second half of 2019. Thus, the second half production forecast remains unchanged. Click the link to read USDA’s July Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report.



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