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USDA: Broiler production expected to increase

Broiler meat production during the 4th quarter of 2009 is forecast at 8.85 bln pounds, down fractionally from a year earlier, reports the USDA.

The number of broiler eggs being set in incubators in that period and the number of chicks being placed for growout has steadily moved closer to the level seen in the 4th quarter of 2008.

During 2010 the number of chicks being placed for growout is expected to reach or slightly exceed the level seen in 2009 and, combined with a small increase in the average weights, is expected to push broiler meat production to 35.9 bln pounds, which is 1% up from 2009.

Broiler meat production in November 2009 was 2.77 bln pounds, up 4% from a year earlier, compared with declines on a year-over-year basis for the previous 7 consecutive months. A large portion of the increase is the result of November 2009 having 1 additional slaughter day compared with November 2008.

Broiler stocks at the end of November totaled 642 million pounds, up 29 million pounds from the end of October, but down 19% from the end of November 2008. Lower broiler meat production in 2009 has resulted in broiler stocks on a year-over-year basis being lower through the first 11 months of 2009.

Stocks of whole birds totaled 19 million pounds, a decrease of 6 million pounds (24%) from the same time a year earlier. Stock levels for almost all broiler products were significantly lower than the previous year, the only exception being thigh meat. Broiler stocks are expected to total 640 mln pounds at the end of 2009, down 14% from the previous year. In 2010, ending stocks are expected to be higher due to a large decline in exports and a small increase in meat production.


Natalie Berkhout

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