Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Mar 1

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices


The February 22nd 2017 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 172 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending February 18th, 1.0 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016 Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 179 million.


Average hatchability was 83 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Cumulative placements for the period January 7th through February 18th amounted to 1.25 billion chicks, one percent more than the corresponding period in 2016.

For the processing week ending February 18th 159,794 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.77 kg (2.80 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 7.7 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 336,729 metric tons 0.4 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production in 2017 has attained 2,376,710 metric tons YTD, 0.2 percent more than YTD 2016.

The USDA Southern States (SS) benchmark prices in $ per kg. as reflected in successive weekly editions of the Broiler Market News Report will be posted.  The values from the February 24th edition (Vol 64: No. 08) are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-

The values from the February 24th edition (Vol 64: No. 08) are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-


Past Week

USDA SS.    Previous week



Ice-pack Broilers




Line-run Tenders




B/S Breasts




Whole Breasts




B/S Thighs




Whole Thighs








Leg Quarters




Wings (cut)





The USDA National Composite Weighted Wholesale price was up 1 cent per kg at $1.89 per kg. for the week ending February 24th compared to $1.79 per kg. during the corresponding week of 2016; $1.88 for January 2017 and approximately $1.91 for the 3-Year average. Currently the USDA Composite benchmark price is 3 cents per kg below the 3-year average.

On February 13th cold storage holdings at selected centers amounted to 40,442 metric tons, down 1.1 percent from an inventory of 40,889 metric tons on February 1st 2017.

According to the most recent February 23rd 2017 USDA Cold Storage Report issued monthly, stocks as of January 31st 201 compared to January 31st 2016 showed differences with respect to the following categories:-

  • Total Chicken category decreased by 5.7 percent to 352,237 metric tons on January 31st 2017 compared to 373,375 metric tons on January 31st 2016
  • Leg Quarters were down 13.3 percent to 49,840 metric tons consistent with resumed exports
  • The Breasts and Breast Meat category was up by 5.5 percent to 87,172 metric tons due to competition from dark meat since total consumption increased.
  • Wings showed a 3.2 percent increase, contributing to a stock of 32,610 metric tons,
  • Paws and Feet increased by 0.8 percent to 8,477 metric tons
  • It is noted that the Other category comprising 133,400 metric tons represented a significant 37.8 percent of inventory on January 31st 2017

Placements of chicks and level of slaughter are in accordance with USDA projections. Most nations including South Korea have resumed importing from the U.S. following expiration of mandatory 90-day periods following decontamination and representations made by the USDA-APHIS to recognize regionalization, coupled with the promotional efforts of USAPEEC. China is still a holdout but for other than phytosanitary reasons.

The status of Cuba as a significant importer will continue unchanged until the incoming Administration establishes a policy on trade with the Island nation. It is presumed that the incoming Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will have a positive influence in the Administration with respect to broiler exports.