The second half of 2013 looks good for chicken processors, with more production and better margins. Lower prices for turkey, however, is expected to hold that sector’s production back, USDA concluded in its latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.
Chicken Broiler meat production in second-quarter 2013 totaled 9.47 billion pounds, slightly higher than in the same period in 2012 and the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases. The sector is expected to continue to expand in the second half of 2013. Starting in the third quarter, corn prices are expected to decline, as well, and with anticipated declines in feed costs and relatively strong growth in the domestic economy, there are signs that the broiler industry has begun to expand the numbers of chicks being placed for growout.The number of chicks being placed weekly for growout has averaged about 167 million during the five-week period July 6 to August 3, about 2.3 percent higher than during the same period the previous year.
Broiler meat production in the second half of 2013 is expected to total 19.1 billion pounds, an increase of 3 percent from the same period in 2012. Over the first half of 2013, 4.2 billion broilers were slaughtered, a decrease of 0.3 percent from a year earlier, a decline that’s been offset by higher average liveweights at slaughter.
Broiler stocks in cold storage at the end of June 2013 were up 5 percent from a year earlier, but cold storage holdings of broiler products are expected to be below the previous year at the end of the third and fourth quarters of 2013 as falling prices for many broiler products promotes their consumption. Broiler products are expected to experience downward price pressure in the second half of the year as production increases in response to anticipated lower feed costs.
Turkey The forecast for turkey meat production in the second half of 2013 was reduced by 20 million pounds to 3.0 billion, a decline of 2.1 percent from the same period in the previous year. The decrease is expected to come chiefly from a lower number of birds slaughtered. Turkey producers are expected to reduce production in response to lower prices for whole birds, even though feed prices also are expected to decline. Turkey poult placements have turned sharply lower over the last several months, and cumulative placements during the first 6 months of 2013 were 10 percent lower than in the same period in 2012.
Turkey meat production, meanwhile, was about the same in the first half as it was a year ago.
Turkey stocks at the end of June were higher, largely due to larger cold storage holdings of whole turkeys, which has placed downward pressure on prices. Whole hen prices are expected to remain below their year-earlier levels.