Poultry Industry News, Comments & More

U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-July 2018.


Data for January-July 2018 indicate a moderate increase in export of broiler parts in comparison to the corresponding seven months of 2017. Total broiler exports for January-July 2018 attained 1,811,704 metric tons, 2.4 percent more than the corresponding period in 2017 (1,769,910 metric tons) but total value improved by 6.3 percent to $1,867 million ($1,757 million).

During January-July 2018 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 1,949,111 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $2,108 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,082 per metric ton, 4.2 percent higher in value compared to the first seven months of 2017 ($1,035 per m. ton).

The NCC breakdown of chicken exports by proportion and unit price for each broiler category for January-July 2018 compared with the equivalent months in 2017 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-

  • Chicken parts 95.9%; Unit value $1,010 per metric ton ($949)

  • Prepared chicken 2.8%; Unit value $3,544 per metric ton ($3,535)

  • Whole chicken 1.3%; Unit value $1,055 per metric ton ($1,008)

The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports in January-July 2018 with corresponding figures for 2017:-

PRODUCT Jan.-July 2017 Jan.-July 2018 Difference
Broiler Meat      
Volume (metric tons) 1,769,910 1,811,704 +41,794 (+2.3%)
Value ( $ million) 1,757 1,867 +110 (+ 6.2%)
Unit value ( $/m. ton) 993 1,031 +38 (+ 3.8%)
Turkey Meat      
Volume (metric tons) 151,170 157,290 +6,220 (+4.1%)
Value ($ million) 324 352 +28 (+8.6%)
Unit value ($/m. ton) 2,145 2,238 +93 (+4.3%)
Chicken Paws      
Volume (metric tons) 103,315 99,397 -3,918 ( -3.8%)
Value ($ million) 156 155 -1 (-0.5%)
Unit value ($/m. ton) 1,510 1,559 +49 (+3.3%)





Total broiler parts exports for the first half of 2018 compared with the corresponding period in 2017 increased by 2.3 percent in volume and 3.8 percent in value. Unit value increased 3.8 percent from $993 per metric ton to $1,031 per metric ton.

The U.S. broiler industry sells mostly leg quarters, an undifferentiated commodity, in a static and price-sensitive market against competition from other exporters and domestic production in importing nations. The gain in value of the U.S. Dollar relative to the currencies of Brazil, Argentina and Thailand impacts competitiveness.

The top five importers of broiler meat represented 45.8 percent of shipments during the first seven months of 2018. The top ten importers contributed 63.3 percent of volume, almost unchanged from the January-July report.

Mexico was the largest importer of broiler meat from the U.S. during January-July 2018 with 19.8 percent of volume and 16.0 percent of total value with a unit price of $834 per metric ton. Unit value in July 2018 declined 12.6 percent to $776 with volume up 15.0 percent contributing to a 0.5 percent decline in total value.

Taiwan remained the 2nd ranked importer receiving 135,758 metric tons representing 8.0 percent of volume and 7.0 percent of value with a unit price of $964 per ton. Taiwan increased purchases by 65.0 percent over the seven-month period in 2018 compared to 2017.

Angola displaced Cuba as the 3rd ranked importer by volume with 126,004 metric tons comprising 7.0 of broiler parts shipped. This Nation increased their import volume from the U.S. during January-July 2018 by 8.9 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

Cuba was the 4th ranked importer in January-July 2018 with 6.9 percent of volume but 5.2 percent of value attributed to the product mix with a unit price of $888 per metric ton. It is hoped that this trade worth $161 million in 2017 and $98 million in January-July 2018 at a unit price of $781 per metric ton will not be compromised by injudicious diplomatic activity or politically inspired restraints. This market is courted by both Brazil and Argentina.

South Africa, the subject of considerable litigation and Congressional pressure in 2015 and 2016, ranked 8th during January-July 2018 with imports of 60,572 metric tons of in-bone product with a total value of $54.8 million (Unit value of $904 per metric ton). The volume of 95,254 m. tons imported in 2017 represented 3.1 percent of U.S. exports and was 165 percent higher than in 2016. In July 2018 South Africa ranked 5th for the month importing 12,302 m. tons valued at $10.7 million respectively higher by 274 percent and 234 percent over July 2017. South African domestic producers continue to agitate against imports from the U.S., the E.U. and Brazil using legal and political pressure.

Nations with increased imports over seven months in 2018 included 16th ranked Dominican Republic (+85.3 percent to 27,473 m. tons) and 9th ranked Republic of Vietnam (+45.7 percent to 27,473 m. tons). These gains were offset by losses in Kazakhstan (-33.5 percent to 36,418 m. tons), Chile (-6.7 percent to 42,132 m. tons) and the UAE (-18.0 percent to 32,573 m. tons).

There is consistent expansion of the ten, second-tier nations importing broiler meat with average monthly volumes ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 m. tons. This is attributed to the promotional activities of USAPEEC and their regional representatives interacting with traders.


The volume of turkey meat exported during January-July 2018 increased by 4.1 percent and value rose by 8.6 percent compared to January-July 2017 with unit value increasing by 4.5 percent from $2,145 per metric ton to $2,238 per metric ton.

Mexico received 65.7 percent of turkey meat shipped during the first seven months of 2018 (103,457 m. tons) representing a 7.8 percent increase over January-July 2017, corresponding to 61.0 percent ($197.4 million) of value exported.

Hong Kong, the 2nd-ranked importer of turkey meat after Mexico reduced volume by 20.9 percent compared to January-July 2017 to 6,505 metric tons. In contrast Japan increased volume by 15.9 percent during January-July 2018, importing 5,426 metric tons at a unit value of $4,331 per m. ton.

Benin in West Africa imported 3,884 metric tons, a 47.5 percent increase but only representing 2.5 percent of U.S. turkey exports at a unit price of $1,287 per metric ton., presumably comprising MDM, given the low price.


Exports of chicken paws during January-July 2018 declined by 3.8 percent in volume compared to January-July 2017 to 99,397 metric tons but with a decrease in value of 0.5 percent. There was a 3.3 percent increase in unit value to $1,559 per metric ton. Hong Kong imported 96.3 percent of leg and paw shipments.

Trade in feet and paws was impacted by the unjustified blanket embargo imposed on the U.S. by China, our largest importer of paws 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.



The August 16th 2018 Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report projected broiler exports of 3.202 million metric tons in 2019, 4.7 percent above 2018 and representing 16.2 percent of total RTC production of 19.73 million metric tons. Projected exports of turkey products will amount to 291,000 metric tons, a 1.7 percent increase over 2018 and representing 10.7 percent of 2019 production estimated at 2.71 million metric tons.

Following an inconclusive 8th Round of NAFTA negotiations and attempts by the principal negotiators to restructure the Agreement failed to achieve resolution, the U.S. Administration is attempting to establish bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico. It is important to recognize that exports of chicken and turkey products to our NAFTA partners amounted to $1.288 billion in 2017. This value is now in jeopardy unless an equitable re-negotiation of terms can be achieved. Mexico is looking to Argentine, Chile and Brazil as alternative suppliers. Canada is now a member of the 11-Nation CPTPP.

The approximately 125 isolated diagnoses of END involving backyard flocks in five counties in California and a single H7 AI diagnosis in a commercial turkey farm separate from the southern clusters should not affect exports of broiler and turkey products. The live-bird market system, backyard flocks, laying hens with outside access and migratory birds represent an ongoing danger to the entire U.S. commercial industry and place at risk the eligibility of the industry to export.

Copyright 2018 Simon M. Shane