WASHINGTON – For 2011, the US Dept. of Agriculture now expects US broiler production to total 37.044 billion lbs., which is 143 million lbs. above last month’s forecast and 1.4% more than the estimate of 36.516 billion lbs. for 2010, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” study issued last week by the World Agricultural Outlook Board.

According to the National Chicken Council’s March 11 Washington Report, analysts also increased their forecasts for producing other meats this year. Beef production is now expected to total 26.177 billion lbs. in 2011, 160 million lbs. more than the February forecast and 0.9% below the 26.419 billion lbs. produced in 2010.

Pork output for 2011 is expected to reach 22.586 million lbs,, which is 35 million lbs. above last month’s outlook and 0.6% more than the 22.458 billion lbs totaled in 2010. For 2011, total poultry and red meat production is now expected to total 92.214 billion lbs., 384 million lbs. more than last month’s forecast and 0.5% above the 91.778 billion lbs. produced in 2010.

USDA said its broiler production forecast was raised primarily to reflect the relatively heavy bird weights while the beef production forecast was moved higher as relatively large dairy cow slaughter during the first part of 2011 is adding to the supply. Analysts also see feedlot placements during early 2011 resulting in stronger fed cattle slaughter later this year. Pork carcass weights during first quarter 2011 are well above last year and contributing more total lbs. than earlier seen.

For 2011, broiler exports are forecast at 6.650 billion lbs., which is the same as last month’s and 1.18% below the 6.773 billion lbs. exported in 2010. Although more production is now expected this year, USDA increased its forecast for wholesale broiler prices by 1 cent on each end of its previous price range. For 2011 the 12-city wholesale broiler price is likely to average between 81-86 cents per lb., compared with 82.9 cents per lb. last year and 77.6 cents per lb. in 2009.