Egg Industry News and Commentary

  —  Jun 21

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices


The June 14th 2017 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 176 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending June 10th, one percent more than the corresponding week in 2016 Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 183 million. Average hatchability was 83 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier.

Cumulative placements for the period January 7th through June 10th amounted to 4.15 billion chicks, two percent more than the corresponding period in 2016. The USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook issued on April 17th documented a one percent difference in chicks hatched and the number placed for broiler grow-out.


For the processing week ending June 16th 164.89 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.80 kg or 6.15 lbs. (2.77 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 1.8 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 350,352 metric tons, 2.8 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production in 2017 has attained 8,606,449 metric tons YTD, 0.8 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 Reports June 16th edition (Vol 64: No. 24) are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-


Past Week

Previous  week=


Ice-pack Broilers








B/S Breasts




Whole Breasts




B/S Thighs




Whole Thighs








Leg Quarters




Wings (cut)




The USDA National Composite Weighted Wholesale price on June 16th was down 11 cents per kg. from the previous week at $2.37 per kg. compared to $2.15 per kg. during the corresponding week of 2016; $2.38 for May 2017 and $2.29 for the 3-Year average.

The March 15th USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook suggested that lower values for processed meat may be in part caused by downgrades due to pectoral myopathy (‘wooden breast”).

On June 12th cold storage holdings at selected centers amounted to 34,206 metric tons, down 4.3 percent from an inventory of 35,742 metric tons on June 1st 2017.

According to the most recent May 22nd 2017 USDA Cold Storage Report, issued monthly, stocks as of April 30th 2017 compared to April 30th 2016 showed differences with respect to the following categories:-

  • Total Chicken category increased by 0.9 percent to 362,654 metric tons on April 30th 2017 compared to 365,888 metric tons on April 30th 2016
  • Leg Quarters were up 5.6 percent to 53,265 metric tons consistent with the data on exports
  • The Breasts and Breast Meat category was up by 0.5 percent to 85,602 metric tons despite price competition from dark meat.
  • Wings showed a 20.5 percent decrease, contributing to a stock of 28,474 metric tons,
  • Paws and Feet increased by 0.9 percent to 10,612 metric tons
  • It is noted that the Other category comprising 140,986 metric tons represented a significant 38.9 percent of inventory on April 30th 2017.  

Placements of chicks and level of slaughter are in accordance with USDA projections.

Most importing nations have placed only regional and state-wide embargos following diagnoses of LP and HP avian influenza in a limited number of contract farms in South-central Tennessee and contiguous North-central Alabama and a single case in Northwest Georgia. Exports will not be affected by the reports of the emergent North American lineage H7N9 HPAI in broiler breeder flocks and H5 LPAI in a turkey grow-out flock. The extent of embargos will depend on whether importing nations apply regionalization. South Korea and some Middle East Nations have imposed bans on the entire U.S. or on affected states. The current situation is however fluid and will be monitored closely by the USAPEEC which issues regular advisories. There have been no reported incident cases for nine weeks suggesting the end of what might now be regarded as “seasonal” AI.

China is still a holdout but for other than phytosanitary reasons, since a variety of strains of HPAI and LPAI are endemic in regions of the country but clinical outbreaks are suppressed by vaccination. Resumption of exports to China will be contingent on reciprocal trade concessions in white meat and other commodities currently under review.

The status of Cuba as a significant importer will continue unchanged until the Administration establishes a policy on trade with the Island Nation which has become our second ranked importer based on volume shipped.

The effect of restrictions on chicken exports from Brazil following the allegations of irregularities in inspection and certification of beef have yet to be assessed. Current indications suggest restoration of normal supply, predicating minimal impact on U.S. sales of leg quarters, which only indirectly compete with products from Brazil. 

 It is expected that Dr. Sonny Perdue, confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture on April 24th, will have a positive influence on the Administration with respect to GIPSA regulations and broiler and turkey exports.