US - Preliminary broiler production data indicated slightly lower December production than previously forecast, leading the 2016 fourth-quarter estimate to be lowered 25 million pounds, according to the latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook from the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
However, predictions for production in the first quarter of 2017 were slightly increased due to recent strong hatchery data and an apparent recovery in bird weights during the fourth quarter.
Exports in November were lower than expected, possibly due to the value of the US dollar. Expectations for 2016 exports have been lowered 40 million pounds, but the export forecast for 2017 remained unchanged.
There is uncertainty on the export demand effects of avian influenza outbreaks in several important European and Asian countries, including The Netherlands, France, Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
The report said the US may experience higher export demand from markets such as South Africa and the Philippines, where trade restrictions have reportedly been put in place. It is not yet clear to what extent this will occur, since many trade restrictions may be applied only to the regions experiencing an outbreak, and unaffected regions in the same vicinity may continue exporting.
Weekly prices for whole broilers increased slightly above expectations as prices remained above 2015 levels for the last 8 weeks of the year. The December price for breasts with rib meat atypically outperformed the boneless/skinless variety by 5 cents, whereas a spread in the opposite direction is far more common.
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