With sharply higher prices expected for both corn and soybeans, the broiler meat production forecast was lowered for 2013, by 600 million pounds, to 36.5 billion pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.

The production estimate for 2012 rose to 36.97 billion pounds due to a slightly higher preliminary estimate for the second quarter and an increase of 50 million pounds to the forecast for the third quarter. Broiler production is expected to be mixed in the second half of 2012, with lower production in the third quarter but higher production in the fourth quarter. Starting in the fourth quarter, sharp increases in feed grain prices and continued economic uncertainties in both the domestic and foreign sectors is expected to push broiler integrators into cutting production. Overall, the second half of 2012 is expected to see a total production of 18.5 billion pounds, slightly higher than in the same period in 2011, according to the USDA.


Broiler stocks in cold storage totaled 607 million pounds at the end of June, down 15 percent from 2011 numbers. Most categories of broiler stocks that are shown individually had strong declines compared with 2011, where stocks of whole birds were down 49 percent, breast meat down 33 percent, leg quarters down 27 percent and wings down 36 percent. These declines were countered partially by gains in cold storage holdings of legs (up 45 percent) and of the products included in the “other” category (up 7 percent). Cold storage stocks are expected to remain below year-earlier levels during the third quarter, but move slightly higher in fourth-quarter 2012 and remain higher on a year-over-year basis during 2013.

For more information and statistics on U.S. poultry, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.