Broiler production next year is forecast to increase 2.5 percent to 37.099 billion pounds, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued yesterday by USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.In its first forecast for broiler production for 2013, board analysts said that lower feed costs are benefiting poultry producers, but cautioned that the stepped-up marketings “will weigh on broiler and turkey prices,” which will moderate the rate of expansion.  USDA’s 12-city average wholesale price for broilers next year will likely be between 82 to 89 cents per pound, compared with the estimated price range for 2012 of 86 to 89 cents per pound.  Broiler exports in 2013 are forecast at 6.975 billion pounds, 0.7 percent below the board’s slightly increased estimate of 7.025 billion pounds for 2012.  Broiler exports next year will be challenged by improving domestic demand, the board explained.

Regarding beef and pork production in the year ahead, the board sees 24.661 billion pounds of beef, 2.5 percent under the 25.286 billion estimated for 2012.  On the other hand, pork production could rise 2.3 percent from 23.300 billion pounds in 2012 to 23.842 billion pounds next year.  Combined meat and poultry production in 2013 is forecast at 92.348 billion pounds compared with the board’s latest estimate of 91.482 billion pounds for this year and 92.397 billion pounds in 2011.  If the board’s outlook for 2013 proves correct, total meat and poultry production would be off 0.9 percent when compared with 2012 and little changed with 2011.  Beef’s decline in production in 2013 is driven by tighter supplies of fed cattle and lower cow slaughter.