U.S. broiler production is expected to decline at the end of the third quarter in 2011 and moving into the fourth quarter as reductions in the number of chicks placed for growout more than offset higher average weights, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Broiler cold storage holdings are expected to end 2011 at 660 million pounds, down considerably from 2010 numbers. Lower production and lower stock levels are expected to eventually place upward pressure on prices, but this effect will be partially offset by a sluggish domestic economy.

Turkey production was higher in August, but is expected to decline in the fourth quarter of 2011. Lower stock levels for whole turkeys have placed upward price pressure on whole birds. Wholesale whole-hen turkey prices have increased, with third-quarter prices averaging $1.06 per pound, up 9% from 2010 numbers.

For more broiler statistics, visit http://www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html