USDA broiler production forecast was lowered in the fourth quarter but was increased in 2022 on strong prices and recent hatchery data, according to the department’s December Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report. The broiler export forecast was also increased for 2022. Broiler price forecasts were increased in the fourth quarter and in 2022 on recent price trends.

Broiler production in October totaled 3.826 billion pounds, a one percent year-over-year decrease and four percent higher when adjusted for the extra slaughter day in 2020. While average weights increased over last October by 1.2 percent, slaughter was down 2.1 percent year over year, unadjusted for the additional day. Preliminary weekly slaughter data also indicate that November production was lower year over year. Based on these indicators, the fourth-quarter production forecast was revised down to 11.025 billion pounds. This brings the 2021 total forecast to 44.73 billion pounds, an increase of less than half a percent from 2020.

Broiler exports in October totaled 654 million pounds, a year-over-year decrease of 6.3 percent. Large decreases in shipments to a few countries, including China (-61.7 million pounds), Mexico (-18.6 million pounds), Taiwan (-14.0 million pounds), Iraq (-10.7 million pounds), and Chile (-10.4 million pounds) were only partially offset by many smaller increases in shipments to markets including Angola (+15.3 million pounds), Kazakhstan (+13.3 million pounds), and Cuba (12.0 million pounds), among others. The fourth-quarter export forecast is unchanged at 1.9 billion pounds, about 17 percent of forecast production in the fourth quarter. For 2022, the total export forecast was adjusted up to 7.5 billion pounds reflecting increases in production expectations. This is a year-over-year increase of about one percent and about 16 percent of forecast production in 2022.

National composite wholesale broiler prices averaged 105.47 cents per pound in November, 28.7 cents above last November’s price. Weekly prices in November climbed steeply and averaged 116.11 cents per pound in the week ending December 4th. The fourth-quarter price forecast is adjusted up three cents to 108 cents per pound. Based on recent trends and expectations for strong demand in the coming year, the 2022 price forecasts were also adjusted up, bringing the 2022 average price to 102 cents per pound, a cent higher than the 2021 forecast average of 100.4 cents per pound.