December 18, 2008

US poultry production down amid dip in profitability


Higher feed costs and consumption slowdown have cut profitability for the US poultry industry and it is responding by lowering production, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Centre.


The US Department of Agriculture also estimated that that US broiler production for November is 5-6 percent lower than 2007. This trend will continue in December and well into 2009.


The broiler industry has started cuts in the hatchery flock and prevented year-to-year gains in bird weights.


Since late April, the number weekly eggs set by producers have been consistently below a year ago with the largest year-to-year declines posted in the 4th quarter. During October and November egg sets were down 8 percent and more than 3 percent lower than the 2002-2006 average.


Meanwhile, the number of chicks placed is down more than 7 percent so far this quarter.


US broiler production for October was also below a year ago.

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