Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Jun 19

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


Continued Improvements in Volume and Value Compared to 2016.

Data for the first four 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, May 2016, Missouri “pop-up” cases and more recent controlled events in Kentucky and Tennessee.  Broiler meat exports in January through April 2017 attained 1,010,387 metric tons, 5.3 percent higher than  the first four months of 2016 (958,793 metric tons)


During January-April 2017 the National Chicken Council, citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 1,089,861 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $1,073 million with an average unit value of $985 per metric ton, 6.8 percent more than in January-April 2016 ($922).

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

  • Chicken parts                          95.2%;  Unit value $907 per metric ton   ($885)
  • Prepared chicken                      2.8%;  Unit value $3,578 per metric ton ($3,511)
  • Whole chicken                          2.0%;  Unit value $990 per metric ton    ($1,243) 

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



PRODUCT                                  Jan.-April 2016     Jan.-April 2017        Difference

Broiler Meat

Volume  (metric tons)                    958,793               1,010,387               +51,594  (+5.3%)

Value     ( $ million)                              892                        949                     +57   (+6.4%)

 Unit value ( $/m. ton)                           930                        939                       +9   (+1.0%)

Turkey Meat

Volume  (metric tons)                      73,067                    80,100                 +7,033 (+9.6%)

Value     ($ million)                               169                         174                       +5 (+ 3.0%)

 Unit value ($/m. ton)                         2,313                      2,172                    -141 (-6.1%)

 Chicken Paws

 Volume   (metric tons)                    47,459                    53,622                 +6,163 (+13.0%)

  Value      ( $ million)                            56                           80                     +24  (+43.0%)

  Unit value ($/m. ton)                        1,172                     1,484                    +312 (+26.6%)      


Total broiler exports for January-April 2017 compared with the corresponding months in 2016 increased by 5.3 percent in volume and 6.4 percent in value. Unit value increased 1.0 percent from $930 per metric ton to $939 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 41.7 percent of shipments during January-April 2017. The top ten importers contributed 58.2 percent of volume. 

Mexico was the largest importer of broiler meat during the first four months of 2017 with 19.1 percent of volume and 17.1 percent of total value and a unit value of $840 per metric ton.

Cuba attained the second rank by volume with 6.0 percent of the total exported and increasing their import volume by 67 percent compared to the volume for the first four months of 2016. It is hoped that this trade worth $42 million at a unit price of $663 per metric ton will not be compromised by injudicious diplomatic activity.

South Africa, ranked 7th during the four month period with imports of 42,542 metric tons of in-bone product with a total value of $34.7 million (Unit value of $816 per metric ton). The volume imported represents a 190 percent increase over the first four months of 2016.

There is consistent and extensive expansion of the ten, second-tier nations importing broilers with average monthly volumes ranging from 4,000 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-April 2017 increased by 9.6 percent and value rose by 3.0 percent compared to 2016 but there was a reduction in unit value of 6.1 percent to $2,172 per metric ton.

Exports of chicken paws during the past four months increased in total volume by 13.0 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2016, with an increase in value of 43.0 percent. This was due to a 26.0 percent increase in unit value to $1,484 per ton. Hong Kong imported over 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.

In February a limited number of cases of North American lineage H7N9 LPAI broiler were diagnosed in breeder flocks in Tennessee, Kentucky and a single case in Georgia. All affected flocks were identified by routine pre-depletion surveillance (serology followed by PCR) and were disposed of. There have been no reports of incident cases in commercial flocks for nine 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, laying hens with outside access and migratory birds represent an ongoing danger to the entire U.S. commercial industry and the ability to export.