Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Apr 12

U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-February 2017


- Continued Improvements in Volume and Value Compared to 2016.

Data for the first two months of 2017 indicate an improvement in export volume after lifting of embargos following the 2015 Midwest HPAI outbreak and the subsequent limited January 2016, Indiana and May 2016, Missouri “pop-up” cases.  Broiler meat exports in January-February 2017 attained 499,906 metric tons, 6.9 percent higher than  the first two months in 2016 (467,643 metric tons)


During January-February 2017 the National Chicken Council, citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 535,387 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms valued at $505 million with an average unit value of $943 per metric ton, almost identical with January-February 2016 ($944).

The breakdown of chicken exports by proportion and unit price for each broiler category for January-February 2017 compared with the corresponding months in 2016 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-

  • Chicken parts                          95.5%;  Unit value $870 per metric ton   ($863)
  • Prepared chicken                      2.6%;  Unit value $3,599 per metric ton ($3,525)
  • Whole chicken                          1.9%;  Unit value $923 per metric ton    ($1,332) 



The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports for the first two months of 2017 with corresponding figures for 2016:-

PRODUCT                                  Jan.-Feb. 2016        Jan.-Feb. 2017             Difference

Broiler Meat

Volume  (metric tons)                    467,743                499,906               +32,163  (+6.8%)

Value     ( $ million)                              426                       451                      +25  (+5.9%)

 Unit value ( $/m. ton)                           911                       902                         -9  (-1.0%)

Turkey Meat

Volume  (metric tons)                      33,424                    39,232                 +5,808 (+17.4%)

Value     ($ million)                                80                           85                        +5 (+  6.3%)

 Unit value ($/m. ton)                        2,393                      2,167                       -226 (- 9.4%)

 Chicken Paws

 Volume   (metric tons)                    22,250                    23,761                   +1,511 (+6.8%)

  Value      ( $ million)                            26                           34                      +8   (+30.8%)

  Unit value ($/m. ton)                        1,040                     1,431                    +391 (+37.6%)      



                                                    COMPARED TO 2016


Total broiler exports for January-February 2017 compared with the corresponding months in 2016 increased by 6.8 percent in volume and 5.9 percent in value. Unit value declined 1.0 percent from $911 per metric ton to $902 per metric ton. The U.S. broiler industry sells leg quarters, an undifferentiated commodity, in a shrinking and price-sensitive market against competition from other exporters and against domestic production in importing nations. The gain in value of the U.S. Dollar relative to the currencies of Brazil and Thailand has added to the pressure of HPAI embargos on exports. 

The top five importers of broiler meat represented 40.9 percent of shipments during January-February 2017. The top ten importers contributed 59.6 percent of volume. 

Mexico was the largest importer of broiler meat during the first two months of 2017 with 19.6 percent of volume and 17.4 percent of total value and a unit value of $801 per metric ton.

South Africa imported 20,197 metric tons of in-bone product over the past two months with a total value of $16 million (Unit value of $792 per metric ton). The volume imported represents a 150 percent increase over the first two months of 2016.

There is consistent and extensive expansion of the ten, second-tier nations importing broilers with volumes ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 m. tons per month. This is attributed to the promotional activities of the USAPEEC and their regional representatives interacting with traders.

The volume of turkey meat exported during January-February 2017 increased by 17.4 percent and value rose by 6.3 percent compared to 2016 but there was a reduction in unit value of 9.4 percent to $2,167 per metric ton.

Exports of chicken paws during the past two months increased in total volume by 6.8 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2016, with an increase in value of 30.8 percent. This was due to a 37.6 percent increase in unit value to $1,431 per ton. Hong Kong imported 99.0 percent of shipments. This trade was impacted by the unjustified blanket embargo imposed by China at the beginning of May 2015. This action included all imports from the entire U.S. following outbreaks of H5N2 strain avian influenza in turkey grow-out operations, egg-producing complexes, non-commercial farms and wild birds in the Northwest and North Central states. These areas were completely separated from regions with broiler production.

Recently, a limited number of cases of North American lineage H7N9 LPAI broiler breeder farms in Tennessee, Kentucky and a single case in Georgia were diagnosed. All affected flocks identified by routine pre-depletion surveillance (serology followed by PCR) were disposed of. There have been no reports of incident cases in commercial flocks for two weeks. Exports from other than the same counties or states where diagnosed, should not affect the volume of exports going forward contingent on importers following the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) policy on regionalization. The live-bird market system and migratory birds represent an ongoing danger to the entire U.S. commercial industry and its exports.