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Poultry Outlook Report - June 2004

by 5m Editor
25 June 2004, at 12:00am

By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - This article is an extract from the June 2004: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, highlighting Global Poultry Industry data. The report indicates that despite strong wholesale prices for most broiler products, production has been expanding at only a moderate rate.

Poultry Outlook Report - June 2004 - By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - This article is an extract from the June 2004: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, highlighting Global Poultry Industry data. The report indicates that despite strong wholesale prices for most broiler products, production has been expanding at only a moderate rate. USDA Economic Research Service

Production indicators (eggs placed in incubators, chicks placed, and the broiler-type laying flock) suggest a relatively slow pace of expansion this year. Poultry exports are now expected to be lower this year than previously expected. Continued trade restrictions, which were triggered by Avian Influenza outbreaks, and higher prices for broiler products, especially leg quarters, reduced export expectations.

U.S. turkey production continued to decline in April after falling by 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2004. For the year, turkey production is expected to total nearly 5.4 billion pounds, down 4.5 percent from a year ago. With tighter supplies of most protein products and lower turkey production, wholesale prices of almost all turkey products are expected to be well above their year-earlier levels.

Broiler Production Up in April

Weekly Broiler Slaughter
Percent change from last year
U.S. broiler production in 2004 has been expanding at only a moderate rate despite strong wholesale prices for most broiler products. Total broiler meat production in April was 2.8 billion pounds, 2.7 percent higher than the previous year. Over the first 4 months of 2004 broiler production rose 4.7 percent from the same period in 2003. Most of this increase came in March which had two more slaughter days than in the previous year. The increase in broiler meat production in April was the result of both an increase in the number of birds being slaughtered (up 2.3 percent) and an increase in their average liveweight (up 0.5 percent). The pattern of modest expansion in broiler production is expected to continue through the remainder of the second quarter and into the second half of 2004.

The estimate for broiler production in the second quarter has been reduced to 8.5 billion pounds, which is still an increase of 2.9 percent over the same period in 2003. Broiler meat production estimates have also been reduced for the third and fourth quarters, lowering the estimate of annual broiler meat production in 2004 to 33.9 billion pounds, 3.6 percent higher than the previous year. One reason for the reduction in the broiler production estimates is that weekly estimates of the number of eggs placed in incubators and chicks placed for growout have been averaging between 1.5 to 2 percent higher than in similar weeks a year earlier. Over the last 5 weeks (May 8 to June 5), the number of eggs placed in incubators has averaged 1.4 percent higher than in the same period in the previous year, while the number of chicks placed for growout has averaged nearly 1.9 percent higher. This pattern of relatively small increases in the number of chicks being placed for growout is expected to continue as the average number of broiler-type hens in the laying flock in April was down 1 percent from the previous year.

Composite Broiler Price
Percent change from previous month
With a strengthening domestic economy, strong prices for competing protein products such as beef and pork, and only a relatively slow expansion in broiler production, prices for most broiler products have risen. Wholesale prices for most broiler products were considerably higher in May than at the same time in the previous year. Prices for boneless/skinless breast meat in the Northeast market averaged $2.33 per pound in May, up 43 percent from the previous year. The 12-city price for whole broilers has also increased sharply, with prices at the beginning of June reaching close to 80 cents per pound, up 34 percent from the previous year. Leg quarter prices, usually moved upward by growth in export demand, have risen even though overall broiler exports are down. In May, the average price for broiler leg quarters in the Southern market was 35 cents per pound, up over 70 percent from a year earlier. Prices for most broiler products are expected to remain strong through the rest of 2004, as slowly growing broiler production keeps overall supplies tight.

Broiler exports in first-quarter 2004 totaled 1.02 billion pounds, down almost 15 percent from the previous year. The decline in broiler exports during the first quarter of 2004 was due in large part to bans or restrictions on U.S. broiler shipments to a number of countries due to outbreaks of Avian Influenza (AI) in the United States. The decreases were the strongest in Russia and some of the larger Asian markets. Shipments to Russia in the first quarter totaled only 277 million pounds, down 33 percent from the previous year. The decline in shipments to Russia was partially offset by strong export growth to the Baltic countries and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Lower exports to the Hong Kong/China market have also been a prime factor in the fall in broiler shipments in first-quarter 2004.

With two additional AI outbreaks reported in Texas, the export outlook remains uncertain, although a number of countries, including Japan, are now starting to allow shipments of broiler products from States that have not had AI outbreaks. Exports are now expected to be at about the same level in the second quarter as they were in the first. Exports are then expected to increase somewhat in the third and fourth quarters as trade issues are resolved. Overall broiler exports for 2004 are expected to total 4.3 billion pounds, down over 600 million pounds from the previous year. In addition to the trade restrictions due to the AI outbreaks, broiler exports will also be reduced by the impact of much higher prices for almost all broiler parts, especially leg quarters.

Turkey Production Falls in April

Weekly Turkey Slaughter
Percent change from last year
U.S. turkey production continued to decline in April after falling by 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2004. Turkey meat production in April was 449 million pounds, down 5.4 percent from the previous year. The decrease in April was due to a lower number of turkeys being slaughtered as the average liveweight at slaughter rose slightly. Turkey production is expected to continue to be lower than the previous year through the rest of 2004. The estimates for turkey meat production in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2004 have been revised downward and the estimate for 2004 is now 5.4 billion pounds, 4.5 percent lower than in the previous year.

With stronger demand for most protein products and lower turkey production, wholesale prices of almost all turkey products are well above their year-earlier levels. The three-region average price for whole turkeys in May was 66.5 cents per pound, up almost 13 percent from the previous year. Prices for turkey wings have also increased sharply, with prices for full cut wings up over 100 percent compared with the previous year.

Mechanically deboned meat (MDM), which is a major export product to Mexico, averaged 39 cents per pound in April, almost 100 percent higher than at the same time in 2003. Prices for most turkey products are expected to remain strong through the rest of 2004, as exports slowly increase and production remains well below the previous year. Turkey exports in first-quarter 2004 totaled only 83 million pounds, down almost 20 percent from the previous year. Turkey exports suffered from the same disease restrictions as broiler exports. Turkey exports fell to most countries. The major exceptions were Mexico, Canada, the Baltic States, and the CIS countries. The largest factor contributing to the lower shipments was a large decline in exports to the Hong Kong/China market.

Retail Turkey Price
Percent change from previous month
Overall shipments to this market totaled only 2.7 million pounds, which was down over 13 million pounds or 83 percent from the previous year. Turkey exports are expected to expand some in the second quarter, but shipments are expected to remain lower than the previous year. Overall, turkey exports in 2004 are expected to be 408 million pounds, 15 percent lower than in 2003.

With lower production and higher prices, stocks of turkeys and turkey parts held in cold storage have been reduced. At the end of April, cold storage holdings of whole turkeys totaled 260 million pounds, 1 percent lower than at the same time in 2003. This is a considerable change from earlier in the year. At the end of February stocks of whole turkeys were 15 percent higher than the previous year. Cold storage stocks of turkey parts were also lower at the end of April, down 10 percent from the previous year.

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For more information view the full Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - June 2004 (pdf)

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service - June 2004