WASHINGTON – US broiler production for 2012 is forecast to increase 2.5 percent to 37.099 billion lbs., according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued May 10 by the US Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.

In its first forecast for broiler production for 2013, board analysts said lower feed costs are benefiting poultry producers, but warned the stepped-up marketings “will weigh on broiler and turkey prices,” which will moderate the rate of expansion, relayed the May 11 issue of the National Chicken Council’s Washington Report.

For 2013, USDA’s 12-city average wholesale price for broilers is anticipated to be between 82 to 89 cents per lb., compared with the estimated price range for 2012 of 86 to 89 cents per lb. Broiler exports for next year are forecast at 6.975 billion lbs., 0.7 percent below the board’s slightly increased estimate of 7.025 billion lbs. for 2012.

Broiler exports next year will be challenged by improving domestic demand, the board explained.

Regarding 2013 beef and pork production, the board sees 24.661 billion lbs. of beef, 2.5 percent under the 25.286 billion lbs. estimated for 2012. Pork production, however, could increase 2.3 percent from 23.300 billion lbs. in 2012 to 23.842 billion lbs. next year.

Combined meat and poultry production in 2013 is forecast to total 92.348 billion lbs. compared with the board’s latest estimate of 91.482 billion lbs. for this year and 92.397 billion lbs. in 2011. Should the board’s outlook for 2013 proves correct, total meat and poultry production would be off 0.9 percent when compared with 2012 and little changed with 2011.

Beef’s predicted production decline in 2013 is being driven by tighter supplies of fed cattle and lower cow slaughter.