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Broiler Week


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices, October 8th 2021.

Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on October 6th 2021 confirmed that a total of 230.4 million eggs were set during the week ending October 2nd 2021, up two percent from the corresponding week of the previous year and down 1.4 percent (3.3 million eggs) compared to the previous week in 2021.


A total of 169.0 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending October 2nd 2021. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 179.8 million, down one percent from the corresponding week in 2020 and 0.7 percent (1.2 million) chicks) less than the previous week. Claimed average hatchability was 79.6 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier, (78.9 percent for the previous week). Each 1.0 percent change in hatchability represents 2.4 million chicks placed per week with the current range of weekly settings.


Cumulative placements for the period January 9th 2021 through October 2nd 2021 amounted to 7.27 billion chicks, up less than one percent from the corresponding period in 2020.


During the period August 28th through October 2nd 2021 weekly placements were on average 1.3 percent lower compared with the corresponding six weeks in 2020. This represents on average, placement of 2.0 million fewer chicks per week. This is attributed to setting a proportion of hatching eggs with depressed fertility derived from high-yield breed combinations maintained by some integrators. Additional breeder flocks have been placed to compensate for reduced fertility and hence hatch but their contribution has yet to be completely realized based on age. The average 2.5 percent increase in eggs per week set over the past six weeks should be reflected in higher placements during mid-October and broilers harvested during late-November onwards.


Broiler Production

According to the October 8th USDA Broiler Market News (Vol. 68, No. 40) for the processing week ending October 2 nd 2021, 168.5 million broilers were processed during the past week (previous week 168.0 million) at an average live weight of 6.42 lbs. (6.46 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76 percent. The number of broilers processed was 8.7 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2020. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 822.1 million lbs. (373,698 metric tons), (824.8 million lbs. last week), 1.0 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2020. In 2021 Processed (RTC) production attained 31.4 billion lbs. (14,259,254 metric tons), 0.5 percent less than YTD 2020.


Broiler Price

The USDA National Composite Weighted Wholesale price on October 8 th 2021 was down 0.5 cents per lb. compared to the previous week at 104.7 cents per lb., compared to 65.1 cents per lb. during the corresponding week of 2020; 105.8 cents per lb. for September 2021 and 76.0 cents per lb. for the three-year average. The industry is still impacted by contraction in the food service segment following imposition of COVID-19 restrictions, although universities and schools are generally functional and QSRs are using increasing quantities of breast meat for sandwiches, strips and nuggets.

The USDA Southern States (SS) benchmark prices in cents per lb. (rounded to nearest cent) as documented in the Broiler Market News Reports October 8th 2021 are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-


USDA SS1. Previous week


USDA SS1. Past week





Whole Index








B/S Breast




Whole Breasts




B/S Thighs




Whole Thighs








Leg Quarters




Wings (cut)




1. USDA Southern States prices


The USDA posted live-weight data for the past week ending October 2 nd 2021 and YTD 2021 were:-

Live Weight Range (lbs.)





Proportion past week (%)





Change from 2020 YTD (%)






During the week ending October 2nd broilers for QSR and food service (live, 3.6 lb. to 4.3 lb.) represented 18 percent (previous week 14 percent) of processed volume.


On October 4th 2020 cold storage holdings of processed poultry other than chicken at selected centers amounted to 72,899 lbs., 0.9 percent less than the inventory of 73,553 lbs. on September 1 st 2021.

According to the most recent September 23rd 2021 USDACold Storage Report, issued monthly, stocks as of August 31 st 2021 compared to August 31st 2020 showed differences with respect to the following categories:-

  • Total Chicken category attained 708.0 million lbs. (321,828 metric tons) corresponding to an average of two weeks production based on average YTD 2021 weekly RTC output. The August 31st 2021 inventory was down 19.9 percent compared to 883.5 million lbs. (401,608 metric tons) on August 31st 2020
  • Leg Quarters were down by 6.3 percent to 75.3 million lbs. consistent with the data on exports. Inventory was down 1.2 percent from July 31st 2021. To evaluate year-over-year comparisons, anticipated purchases by China were initially delayed by COVID-19 port disruptions during the first quarter of 2020. The USDA combined the categories of feet and in-bone products into a single figure from the second quarter of 2020 onwards. Given the trend in inventory of leg quarters it is evident that this category continues to be shipped in varying quantities to a number of importing nations including China.
  • The Breasts and Breast Meat category was down 20.5 percent from August 31st 2020 to 162.0 million lbs. indicating higher domestic demand from retail and a slow recovery of the food service. The QSR sector has emphasized chicken sandwiches.
  • Wings showed a 3.4 percent decrease from August 31st 2020, contributing to a stock of 49.9 million lbs. The level of inventory in this category increased from July after seasonal breaks in college and professional sports events. This category was 2.0 percent higher on August 31st than on July 30th 2021.
  • Paws and Feet declined on on August 31st 2021 by 20.2 percent to 29.7 million lbs. from August 31st 2020 and inventory decreased 1.9 percent from July 31st 2021*. March and April 2020 export data suggested displacement of sales from Hong Kong to China by comparing previous data for Hong Kong. Prior to April 2020 it is presumed that approximately half of the shipments of paws and feet destined for Hong Kong were landed and transshipped to the Mainland. Data released by the USAPEEC confirmed that for the first five months of 2021 105,000 metric tons of paws were shipped to China. This represented 57.5 percent of volume and 80.4 percent of value of shipments to China at a unit price of $2,457 per metric ton.
  • It is noted that the Other category comprising 297.2 million lbs. was down 20.2 percent from August 31st 2020 but represented a significant 42.0 percent of inventory on July 31 st 2021. The high proportion in the Other category suggests further classification or re-allocation by USDA to the designated major categories.
  • *(See Poultry Meat Export Report covering January-July 2021 under the STATISTICS Tab)


August 2021 Production

The USDA Poultry Slaughter Report released on September 24 th 2021 covering August 2021 comprising 21 working days. The following values were documented for the month:-


  • A total of 798.7 million broilers were processed, up 3.5 percent from August 2020;
  • Total live weight was 5.17 billion lbs., was up 4.3 percent from August 2020;
  • Unit live weight was 6.47 lbs., was up 0.8 percent from August 2020.
  • RTC attained 3.90 billion lbs., up 4.4 percent from August 2020.
  • WOG yield of 75.5 percent.
  • The proportion marketed as chilled in August 2021 comprised 93.0 percent of RTC output.
  • Ante-mortem condemnation as a proportion of live weight attained 0.21 percent during August 2021 compared to 0.22 percent in August 2020.
  • Post-mortem condemnations as a proportion of processed mass corresponded to 0.49 percent during August 2021 compared to 0.52 percent in July 2020.

To be updated in late October reflecting September data.



Mexico has recognized the OIE principle of regionalization after intensive negotiations between SENASICA and U.S. counterpart the USDA-APHIS assisted by USAPEEC. Provided importing nations adhere to OIE guidelines on regionalization, localized outbreaks of avian influenza and Newcastle disease should not materially affect exports. The response of China is less predictable given their action regarding E.U. nations in response to African swine fever and avian influenza but their response to outbreaks will be influenced more by self-interest than scientific or international trade considerations.


During 2020, broiler exports to Mexico attained 683,018 metric tons. This represented 21.1 percent of export volume and 18.7 percent of export value (amounting to $605 million) of the total $3.23 billion. Fifth-ranked Canada imported 149,851 metric tons of broilers and parts during 2020 valued at $289.2 million. Collectively our NAFTA/USMCA neighbors imported broiler products to the value of $869 million during 2018, $901 million in 2019 and $864 million in 2020.


During 2020 exports of broiler products to China including feet attained 512,587 metric tons valued at $732 million with a unit price of $1,428 per metric ton. Shipments to China were offset by losses to Hong Kong with at least half of U.S. imports transshipped to the mainland prior to April 2020.


For the first eight months of 2021 exports of broiler parts and feet combined attained a volume of 2,473,865 metric tons (2,321,115 metric tons in January-August 2020) with a value of $2,929 million ($2,333 January-August 2020). Unit value increased 17.8 percent from January-August 2020 to $1,184 per metric ton from $1,005 for the eight-month period in 2020.


Subscribers are referred to the Monthly Export Review in this edition and the 2021 USDA Projection under the STATISTICS Tab.

Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane