Wednesday, February 28, 2024

ERS: broiler, turkey and egg production totals are adjusted down

By David B. Strickland Poultry Times editor dstrickland@poultrytimes.com

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WASHINGTON — Broiler production numbers have been shifted down from previous figures based on the most recent hatchery and production estimates, the USDA’s Economic Research Service notes. Table egg production is unchanged and wholesale egg prices have been raised for the fourth quarter of 2023. Turkey production estimates have also been lowered from October projections.

Broilers

Broilers produced in September equaled 3.79 billion pounds, 5 percent less than September last year, ERS says in its November “Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook” report.

“Production expectations for the fourth quarter of 2023 and into 2024 were lowered on hatchery indicators,” the report said. “The ‘Chickens and Eggs’ report, published by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, indicated 813.6 million broiler chicks were hatched in September. This is down 3.1 percent from last year but similar to the 5-year average. Chicks hatched in September will likely be slaughtered in November.

“The report also showed 692.3 million broiler-type eggs in incubators on the first of October. This is down 3.8 percent year-over-year, but still above the 5-year average but similar to the October 2021 figure. After hatching and growing out, these eggs set in incubators will likely be slaughtered in late November and December.”

Broiler production for the fourth quarter is estimated by the department to be reduced 200 million pounds to a total of 11.450 billion pounds. This is a 3.5 percent decrease from the previous year but remains more than the fourth quarter of 2021.

“In total, the 2023 production projection is 46.209 billion pounds, nearly flat from 2022,” ERS reports. “For 2024, production was adjusted down for a new total projection of 46.650 billion pounds. This would be a modest increase of about 1 percent from the 2023 projected total.”

Cold storage broiler meat totals were 808 million pounds for the end of September, the report added. This is a decrease of 2.9 percent from the same month last year and is noted as the first year-over-year decrease for 2023. And after recent data is analyzed, the ending stocks for this year have been reduced to 850 million pounds and 860 million pounds is projected for 2024.

For broiler exports, they totaled 558.8 million pounds for September, ERS said. This is approximately down 5 percent from the same time last year.

“Month over month, the largest decrease was in shipments to Cuba, which peaked at 77.4 million pounds in August before falling to 26.2 million pounds in September,” the report noted. “Shipments also fell to other price-sensitive markets, including Mexico, Taiwan, and Guatemala.

“Including September data, the third quarter total for broiler exports is 1.752 billion pounds. Reflecting lowered production expectations for 2023 and 2024, as well as less-competitive prices in the coming year, exports are adjusted down in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2024. Accounting for September data and a reduction of 100 million pounds in the fourth quarter export projection, total exports in 2023 are projected to be down 1.5 percent from last year at 7.180 billion pounds and would account for a slightly smaller share of projected production (15.5 percent).”

For next year, ERS is estimated broiler exports to be approximately 7.270 billion pounds, which is about a 1.3 percent increase and would be 15.6 percent of 2024’s production.

Eggs

The USDA reports total table egg production in September at 657 million dozen, which is a 3.4 percent increase from the same time last year but more than the 5-year average for the month.

“With lay rates equal to last September, the increase can be solely attributed to an increase in the layer flock, which averaged 320.2 million birds in September,” the report notes. “Table egg layer inventory continued to rise, estimated at 321.8 million birds on the first of October. This is a year-over-year increase of 3.6 percent but still 5.7 million birds shy of the 2019-2021 average for the month.”

Table egg production for the third quarter was at 1.997 billion dozen, ERS added. And for the fourth quarter, table egg production was reduced 5 million dozen to 2.035 billion dozen.

“For 2024, lower lay rate expectations were carried through the first half,” the report said. “Projected first quarter production was adjusted down by 10 million dozen to 2.010 billion dozen, and 5 million dozen were shifted from second quarter to third quarter production. In total, projected 2024 production was adjusted down slightly to 8.140 billion dozen table eggs, still an increase of 3.2 percent from 2023.”

For egg exports, the September total is reported by ERS at 19.1 million shell-egg equivalent dozen, which is a slight increase from last year.

“The top three destinations for egg and egg product exports in September, accounting for 74 percent of all exports, were Canada (7.4 million dozen), Mexico (5.6 million dozen), and Japan (1.2 million dozen),” ERS notes. “Projected total exports for 2023 are adjusted down to 242 million dozen on recent data, but this is still an increase of 6.8 percent from 2022. The total export forecast for 2024 is also adjusted down by 7 million dozen to 238 million dozen, lower than the 2023 projection but still 5.1 percent over the 2022 total.”

Turkeys

Looking at the effect of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on the nation’s turkey flock, ERS noted that from October to Nov. 9, there were 963,100 commercial meat turkeys depopulated as a result of HPAI outbreaks in five different states: California, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Utah.

“Preliminary October slaughter data does not indicate that an immediate reduction in turkey production, though the turkeys lost may have been intended to for slaughter later in the quarter or as far out as early next year,” the report said. “These cases are not expected to significantly impact the availability of turkeys for the holidays.”

The ERS notes that turkey production in September came to approximately 429.8 million pounds, which is a 2.2 percent increase from the same time last year, and predated October impacts from HPAI.

“The average live weight in September was 31.56 pounds, up 3.6 percent year over year,” ERS said. “This increase in weights offset a slight drop in slaughter numbers due to 1 less slaughter day this September. The third quarter total is 1.352 billion pounds, an increase of 7 percent from the third quarter last year.”

Turkey production for the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2024 is expected to be down based on lower placements, the report noted.

“Projected fourth quarter production is adjusted down 25 million pounds to 1.390 billion pounds,” ERS added. “Including actual third quarter production, projected 2023 production is down 48 million pounds to 5.500 billion pounds. This would still be an increase of 5.3 percent from last year.

“For 2024, total projected production was adjusted down 45 million pounds to 5.595 billion pounds, 1.7 percent over the projected 2023 total.”

For turkey exports, the USDA notes that they are continuing to perform more than last year’s numbers, at a total of 50 million pounds.

“Shipments to Mexico increased from last year and totaled 31 million pounds, accounting for 62 percent of September shipments,” the report said. “Despite lowered production expectations and continued HPAI restrictions, based on information as of Nov. 9, projected exports in the fourth quarter are adjusted up to 130 million pounds, reflecting favorable prices for foreign buyers. Including a third quarter total of 145 million pounds, this would make the total 2023 export projection 475 million pounds, 20 million pounds over last month’s projection and 17 percent over last year.”

These turkey export totals would be about 8.6 percent of expected production, ERS noted.

“For 2024, reflecting lowered production expectations, projected exports are reduced by 15 million pounds in the first half, making the annual total 465 million pounds,” the report added. “This would be 8.3 percent of projected production.”
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