World turkey production is forecast down 1 percent in 2013, to 5.4 million tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest report.

Decline in the U.S. is expected to offset gains in the EU and Brazil, with the U.S. reducing production as a result of higher feed prices. Global exports are forecast to fall by 3 percent, to 649,000 tons, as U.S. exports decline due to tighter supplies. Brazilian exports are forecast to increase while EU and Canadian exports are expected to remain steady. Mexico’s imports will likely be affected by tighter supplies of turkey in the U.S., and imports by South Africa are forecast to rise as a result of growing consumer demand.

Focus: Iraq

Poultry production in Iraq in 2012 is expected to be on par with that of 2011 levels, according to the USDA. Production increases in the first half of 2012 have been sharply reduced due to high feed prices, disease issues throughout Iraq with greatest severity in the central and southern areas and high mortality rates. These factors are expected to carry over into 2013. Any potential expansions in domestic production are expected in late 2013, but only in the event that improvements are made in feed availability (e.g., U.S. drought, conflict in Syria), feed costs are lower, and the industry successfully addresses disease issues and high mortality rates.

Despite flat domestic production and increased poultry imports in 2012, Iraq's domestic poultry consumption is projected to be 24.2 kilograms per capita, slightly lower than 2011 levels (24.6 kilograms). However, the outlook for poultry production and imports remains favorable as Iraq experiences continued economic growth due to oil revenues, gains in personal incomes and price advantages over higher-priced red meats. Prices of imported poultry are expected to be higher in 2013; yet even at these higher levels imported poultry will maintain its price advantage over domestic poultry, according to the USDA. As long as domestic production remains flat, rising domestic demand will be satisfied by imports.