WASHINGTON – US broiler production for 2012 is expected to be 37.405 billion lbs., 1.1 percent more than the 36.991 billion lbs. estimated for 2011, but 228 million lbs. less than last month’s forecast, according to USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report last week. The July 16 edition of the National Chicken Council’s Washington Report said analysts did not change their broiler production estimate of 36.991 billion lbs. for 2011 which will be 1.3 percent more than the 36.516 billion lbs. in 2010.

USDA’s beef production estimate for 2011 was reduced as steer/heifer slaughter in the second quarter was lower than expected although more cows were slaughtered. In addition, lighter-weight cattle are being placed, which will likely moderate carcass weight growth during the year.

US beef production this year is likely to be 26.236 billion lbs., 0.7 percent less than the 26.414 billion lbs. in 2010. Beef production will drop again in 2012 with a forecast of 25.115, 4.3 percent under 2011.

For 2011 and 2012, pork production was little changed from last month’s estimates. Pork production in 2011 at 22.699 billion lbs. will be 1.1 percent ahead of the 22.456 billion lbs. in 2010. Pork production is forecasted to increase 1.6 percent in 2012 to be 23.069 billion lbs.

Total red meat and poultry production for 2011 was essentially unchanged from last month’s estimate while USDA’s forecast for 2012 was trimmed slightly. This year’s total red meat and poultry production is expected to be 92.431 billion lbs., 0.7 percent above the 91.772 billion lbs. in 2010. Next year’s total is likely to be 92.138, 48 million lbs. less than last month’s estimate and 0.3 percent under the estimate for 2011.

This year broiler exports are estimated at 6.480 billion lbs., unchanged from USDA’s June estimate and 4.3 percent less than the 6.773 billion lbs. in 2010. For 2012, broiler exports were also left unchanged at 6.700 billion lbs., an increase of 3.4 percent over 2011. USDA’s 12-city average wholesale price for broilers in 2011 is expected to be between 81-84 cents per lb., 1 cent lower on each end of the range from last month’s estimate. The comparable price was 82.9 cents per lb. in 2010. In 2012, the broiler price could average between 82-89 cents per lb., 1 cent higher on the upper end of the range from last month’s forecast.