Broiler production this year is now estimated at 36.159 billion pounds, 247 million pounds more than last month’s estimate and 1.7 percent under the 36.803 billion pounds in 2010, according to USDA’s “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report this week from the World Agricultural Outlook Board. Analysts indicated they predict more production during the first half of 2012 based on higher than expected monthly production data so far this year and stronger January-June broiler prices stimulating more pounds of broilers to be produced.

Beef production for this year was very slightly raised to 25.150 billion pounds as higher mid-year marketings will largely offset lower-than-expected slaughter during first quarter 2012.  A bit more pork is now seen with the first-quarter pig crop coming in larger than previously thought.  Total meat and poultry production is now estimated at 91.289 billion pounds, 341 million pounds more than the March estimate and 1.2 percent less than the 92.420 billion pounds in 2011.  In 2010, combined meat and poultry production was 91.772 billion pounds.

Broiler exports in 2012 are now likely to be 6.975 billion pounds, 75 million pounds less than last month and little changed from the 6.991 billion pounds in 2011.  Combined meat and poultry exports were trimmed by 10 million pounds from the March estimate to 15.789 billion pounds, little changed from the 15.786 billion pounds in 2011.  If combined meat and poultry exports are 15.789 billion pounds this year, this would represent 17.3 percent of total meat production in 2012.

Despite the increase in estimated broiler production, USDA increased its estimate for the wholesale, 12-city average broiler price to a range of 87-91 cents per pound, up 2 cents on the lower end of the range and up 1 cent on the upper end of the range.  In 2011, the comparable broiler price was 79.0 cents per pound, and in 2010, 82.9 cents per pound.