Broiler production this year is now forecast at 38.088 billion pounds, 198 million pounds less than last month’s forecast and 1.8 percent above the 37.425 billion pounds produced in 2013, according to USDA’s “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate” (WASDE) report issued this week. With broiler production of 37.425 billion pounds in 2013 (unchanged from the March estimate), last year’s production is 2.1 percent above the 36.643 billion pounds of broiler production in 2012. Analysts said that they reduced their forecast for production this year because “hatchery data point to slower growth in egg sets and chicks placed” (the same reason as listed in last month’s report). Analysts added, however, that “feed prices are forecast higher,” which supports the trimming of broiler production.

Broiler exports for 2014 are forecast to be slightly lower than previously expected. The 2014 forecast was reduced by 25 million pounds to 7.525 billion pounds, compared with last year’s exports of 7.364 billion pounds. If 2014 exports are 7.525 billion pounds, it would represent a 2.2-percent increase over 2013. The 2013 exports (7.364 billion pounds) are 1.2 percent higher than the 7.274 billion pounds in 2012.

USDA raised the range for its price outlook for broilers compared with its month earlier forecast. Analysts now expect the wholesale broiler price, national composite weighted average, to be 100-104 cents per pound for 2014, compared with 95-100 cents per pound in last month’s report. For 2013, the price was 99.7 cents per pound, compared with 86.6 cents per pound in 2012. USDA said that its broiler price forecast for 2014 was increased as the reduced outlook for production supports higher prices.

Compared with last month’s report, USDA again raised its beef production forecasts for 2014. Expectations are now at 24.648 billion pounds, 25 million pounds more than in the March report and 4.5 percent less than 25.800 billion pounds in 2013.  Beef production at 25.800 billion pounds last year is 0.8 percent less than 25.996 billion pounds produced in 2012.

USDA made a significant downward adjustment to its forecast for pork production for 2014. USDA now expects this year’s pork production to be 22.777 billion pounds, 600 million pounds less than last month. For 2013, pork production was 23.215 billion pounds. The revised pork production outlook puts 2014 output 1.9 percent below of 2013. Pork production last year was 0.2 percent below the 23.270 billion pounds in 2012.

Production of total red meat and poultry for 2014 is now seen at 91.987 billion pounds, 804 million pounds less than the previous report and 1.1 percent less than the 92.973 billion pounds produced last year. With 2013’s combined production at 92.973 billion pounds, it represents 0.4 percent above the 92.602 billion pounds in 2012.

Analysts explained in the report that the 2014 forecast of total red meat and poultry production was lowered from last month as higher beef production is more than offset by lower pork, broiler, and turkey production. For beef, production is forecast higher as lower forecast  slaughter in the first quarter is more than offset by higher slaughter in the second half. The larger forecast second-half slaughter reflects larger placements of cattle during the first half. Pork production is reduced from last month as the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report estimated a  year-over decline in the December-February 2014 pig crop and revised the June-August 2013 pig crop lower. Although producers indicated intentions to increase sows farrowing in March-May and June-August 2014, the loss of piglets due to the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is expected to result in lower slaughter during the remainder of the year. Although carcass weights are forecast higher, those gains will be insufficient to offset the reduced slaughter numbers and the pork production forecast is reduced  from last month.

The beef import forecast for 2014 was raised from last month as demand for processing-grade beef remains strong and the export forecast is raised on continued strong sales to Asian markets. Pork imports were raised on high U.S. pork prices, but the export forecast was reduced as tighter supplies and high prices are expected to constrain sales. Cattle prices for 2014 are raised from last month, reflecting continued price strength for fed cattle. The hog price forecast is raised on current prices and expected tight supplies of market hogs. Broiler and turkey prices are raised as higher cattle and reduced broiler production support higher prices. The egg price is raised on continued strong demand.