The 2019 broiler production forecast is revised up on expectations of more, heavierweight bird slaughter. The benchmark broiler price is raised on recent prices. The 2019 export and import forecasts are adjusted higher, reflecting recent trade data. Egg prices are increased on recent price movements and expectations for increasing supply-demand equilibrium in the market. The table egg production forecast is revised up based on higher lay rates. Trade forecasts remain unchanged for 2019.

July broiler production is estimated at 3.9 billion pounds, up 6.2 percent from 2018, or 1.4 percent when adjusted for slaughter days. This year-over-year increase was comprised of a 0.2-percent decrease in bird slaughter (adjusted for slaughter days), but nearly a 1.8-percent increase in average bird weights. Preliminary weekly slaughter data from the Agricultural Marketing Service indicates more birds were available for slaughter in August compared to last year (see chart). Furthermore, eggs-set data in recent weeks has averaged more than 3 percent year-over-year growth (see chart). Assuming hatch rates will approximate or exceed 2018 levels for the remainder of 2019—which has largely been the case in 2019 thus far—the data suggest that there will be more birds available for slaughter than expected in the coming months. Accordingly, the third-quarter production forecast was increased to 11.3 billion pounds, and the fourth quarter to 10.9 billion pounds. The 2020 forecast was revised up to 44 billion pounds, more than 1 percent higher than the 2019 production forecast, based on USDA’s September 2019, Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report.