U.S. broiler production is poised to bounce back from a downward trend and grow steadily from 2014 to 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Projections through 2022 report, released on February 11.

Overall U.S. poultry and red meat production is expected to continue its decline in 2013, according to the report, but for the rest of the projection period, higher net returns and improved feed supplies will lead to expanded production. Trends of both increased numbers of birds produced and higher weights at slaughter contribute to those projections.

After dipping to levels around 36 billion pounds in 2013, broiler meat production is projected to grow until it exceeds annual levels of more than 40 billion pounds in 2022. The rate of growth is expected to outpace the rebound of both beef and pork, which are not projected to see an uptick until 2015. Production of both meats is expected to be in near equal amounts each year, reaching levels just shy of 25 billion pounds each by 2022.

Turkey production is also expected to climb through 2022.

Consumption

Meat and poultry consumption in 2013 is expected to be at its lowest point since 1990, dipping down to 197.3 pounds per capita, but it should surpass 200 pounds by 2016, according to data.

The rebound will take place in the poultry sectors before it does so in other competitive protein areas. In contrast to red meats, poultry consumption levels will surpass those of the past decade. Total poultry consumption for 2013 is projected at 96.4 pounds per capita, which includes broiler and other chicken products, as well as turkey, but that amount will bounce up to 97.7 pounds per capita in 2014. A steady increase will continue through 2022, when the average per-capita consumption of poultry will be 104.6 pounds.

In comparison, per-capita beef consumption will decline through 2015, but will rise moderately over much of the remainder of the projection period. As production increases, so will consumption. Its projected level of 54.8 pounds per capita in 2013 will continue to drop as low as 53.4 pounds per capita in 2015, but won't reach 2013 levels until 2018, when it reaches 55.1 pounds per capita. The high point is expected to be in 2020 at 55.2 pounds per capita, but it will slide back to its 2013 level in 2022.

Pork consumption will gradually increase, going from 45 pounds per capita in 2013 to 48.1 pounds per capita in 2022.

Exports

Overall poultry exports will rise from 2013 through the remainder of the projection period. Major U.S. export markets include China and Mexico, but U.S. broiler exports also have been increasing to a number of other countries. The largest growth potential comes from many developing, middle-income and low-income countries, with Africa and the Middle East accounting for more than 40 percent of the global increase in U.S. meat exports. Projected growth for global meat consumption averages 1.8 percent annually through 2022. Longer-term gains in these markets reflect their economic growth and increasing consumer demand. 

International demand for broilers also remains strong because of its lower cost relative to beef and pork.

U.S. poultry producers continue to face strong competition from other major exporters, particularly Brazil. Over the projection period, most exports from Thailand and China will continue to be fully cooked products, although Thai export gains also reflect the reopening of trade in uncooked chicken products to the EU.