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USDA raises forecast for poultry but lowers pork’s

On the one hand, the United States Department of Agriculture raised its forecast production figures for poultry farmers for the rest of 2008 and into 2009.  Unfortunately, at the same time, it also lowered the outlook for hogs for the rest of 2008.

September 15, 2008  By

September 15, 2008

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) raised its broiler production forecasts for 2008 and 2009 due to increases in bird weights, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

USDA projected 2008 broiler production at federally inspected plants at 37.04 billion pounds, up from August's estimate of 36.99 billion pounds as bird weights have been heavier than previously forecast.


Due to strong shipments throughout July, USDA raised its broiler export forecast for 2008 to 6.6 billion pounds from 6.5 billion forecast a month ago. Broiler export forecasts for 2009 remain unchanged.

The report reduces broiler price forecasts due to soft demand for domestically consumed products coupled with increased production estimates.

Broilers are now projected to average 79 cents to 80 cents per pound in 2008, down from 80 cents to 82 cents per pound forecast in August. USDA lowered its average broiler price forecast for 2009 to a range of 82 cents to 89 cents per pound, down from 83 cents to 90 cents per pound projected last month.

At the same time, the USDA also lowered its pork production forecast for 2008 because of a slower-than-expected pace of hog slaughter and lighter carcass weights in the third quarter. It pegged 2008 commercial pork production at 23.476 billion pounds, down from 23.556 billion pounds projected in August.

It reduced its 2009 commercial pork production forecast to 22.98 billion pounds from 23.025 billion pounds forecast in August as producers are now expected to market hogs at lighter carcass weights.

USDA estimated average hog prices (live equivalent 51-52 percent lean) for the third quarter of 2008 at $56 to $57 per hundredweight , reflecting strong demand. It forecast prices will average $49 to $50 for the year, up $1 on each end from August.

USDA left its average hog price forecast for 2009 unchanged at $51 to $56 per hundredweight.


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