USDA keeps 2011 broiler production unchanged from last month’s projections at 37.391 billion pounds, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” (WASDE) report published this week.  The Department now sees broiler production in 2012 at 37.775 billion pounds down 0.1 percent from July’s forecast of 37.810 billion.  Analysts do not believe the stronger second-half production will carry into the first part of 2012.

No changes were made to broiler exports for either 2011 (6.480 billion pounds) or 2012 (6.700 billion pounds).  Broiler prices were lowered in the report to a range of 80-82 cents per pound for 2011 (down from July’s projections of 81-84 cents per pound) and, for first quarter 2012, at 81-87 cents per pound because USDA analysts believe supplies will remain relatively large.

Small changes were made to the 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production.  Beef production was reduced slightly.  Although fed cattle slaughter was raised to reflect the large number of cattle placed in feedlots during the second quarter due to drought in the Southern Plains, second-half carcass weights have been reduced.

The pork production forecast was lowered due to the expected short-term effect of recent hot, humid weather on third-quarter hog weights.  Production in June was higher than expected which offsets a sharper expected decline in second-half production.

Turkey production was raised as higher forecast turkey prices are expected to moderate the expected decline in second-half production, according to the report.

Pork export forecasts was raised for both 2011 and 2012.  A favorable exchange rate and relatively strong demand for pork in Asia are expected to boost exports.  U.S. pork imports are reduced slightly in both years.

Turkey exports in 2011 are expected to be slightly stronger.  Hog prices are forecast higher for both 2011 and 2012 as stronger export demand in both years support prices, USDA analysts said.