Broiler production was adjusted up in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 based on recent data, according to USDA’s Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report.

Ending stocks for 2021 were adjusted down. After a major revision in 2021 data, broiler exports in 2021 are projected to be about even with 2020, and 2022 exports were adjusted down to 7.45 billion pounds. Based on recent strong price data, the broiler price forecast was adjusted up to average 112 cents per pound in 2022. Fourth-quarter 2021 table egg production was revised down due to recent production data.

November broiler production totaled 3.666 billion pounds, a year-over-year increase of five percent. While slaughter per day was fractionally lower than last year, one percent heavier bird weights and an extra slaughter day in November 2021 boosted production. Fourth-quarter broiler production was increased by 150 million pounds to 11.175 billion pounds. This would bring 2021 production to 44.88 billion pounds, a year-over-year increase of one-percent. The production forecast was also increased by 100 million pounds in the first quarter of 2022. This makes the 2022 total forecast 45.6 billion pounds, a two-percent increase from 2021.

Broiler meat in cold storage fell in November, ending the month at 705 million pounds. This is 17 percent below the same time a year ago, though this low level of cold storage has been typical in 2021, in spite of increased production. It is possible cold storage levels could remain near these levels during the coming months. The 2021 ending stocks projection for broiler meat was lowered to 750 million pounds.

The 2022 broiler export forecast was revised down by 50 million pounds to 7.45 billion pounds, reflecting slower expected growth to a number of markets. This would be a one percent increase from 2021 and represent 16 percent of projected 2021 production.

National composite wholesale broiler prices continue to climb. December’s average price was 124.39 cents per pound, making the fourth-quarter average 110.9 cents per pound. Weekly prices have increased since the first week of November. In the first week of 2022, prices averaged 133.63 cents per pound, a new high. The 2022 quarterly price forecasts were adjusted to 120 cents per pound in the first quarter, 115 cents in the second quarter, 105 cents in the third quarter, and 97 cents in the fourth quarter. This yields an annual average forecast of 112 cents per pound for 2022, 11 cents above the 2021 average.

USDA’s full report can be found here.