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Weekly Broiler Production and Prices


Mar 15, 2017


The March 8th 2017 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 173 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending March 4th, one percent more than the corresponding week in 2016 Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 180 million. Average hatchability was 83 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Cumulative placements for the period January 7th through March 4th amounted to 1.61 billion chicks, one percent more than the corresponding period in 2016.


For the processing week ending March 4th 159.125 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 2.80 kg (2.80 kg. last week) and a yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was almost the same as the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production attained 338,068 metric tons 0.6 percent more than the corresponding week in 2016. Processed (RTC) broiler production in 2017 has attained 3,055,039 metric tons YTD, 0.5 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 as the Georgia Dock benchmark has been terminated. 


The values from the March 10th edition (Vol 64: No. 10) are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-


Past Week

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 14 cent per kg at $2.04 per kg. for the week ending March 4th compared to $1.81 per kg. during the corresponding week of 2016; $1.87 for February 2017 and approximately $2.04 for the 3-Year average. Currently the USDA Composite benchmark price is equivalent to the 3-year average.

On March 6th cold storage holdings at selected centers amounted to 40,131 metric tons, up 1.5 percent from an inventory of 39,556 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 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. Exports will be affected by the report of North American lineage H7N9 HPAI in a broiler breeder flock and LPAI in a turkey grow-out flock located in adjacent counties in South-central Tennessee near the Alabama border. The extent of embargos will depend on whether importing nations apply regionalization.

Initial indications suggest that major importers will impose embargos only on the affected counties or the State of Tennessee although South Korea and some Middle East Nations have imposed bans on the entire U.S. The current situation is however fluid and will be monitored closely by the USAPEEC which issues regular advisories.

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 are suppressed applying vaccination.

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 Dr. Sonny Perdue will have a positive influence on the Administration with respect to broiler exports. Observers are concerned over the delay in the initial announcement and lack of progress in his confirmation hearing.


Copyright 2017 Simon M. Shane