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Turkey Week


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices November 5th 2021

Poult Production and Placement:

The October 15th 2021 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 27.1 million eggs in incubators on October 1st 2021 (25.6 million eggs on September1st 2021*) and down 0.9 percent (0.24 million eggs) from October 1st 2020.


A total of 21.2 million poults were hatched during September 2021 (21.8 million in August 2021*), representing a decrease of 1.0 percent (186,000 poults) from September 2020.


A total of 19.3 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in September 2021, (21.8 million in August 2021*), 11.1 percent (2.4 million poults) less than in September 2020. This suggests disposal of 1.9 million poults during the month (0.3 million in August 2021). Based on the proportion of 45 percent hens to 55 percent toms processed year-to-date it is calculated that 0.9 million tom poults representing 4.3 percent of September hatch and 1.0 million hen poults  representing 4.7 percent of September hatch were not placed in the month.


For the twelve-month period October 2020 through September 2021 inclusive, 265.9 million poults were hatched and 246.8 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 19.1 million poults. Assuming the proportion of placements corresponded to the respective numbers of toms and hens reared year to date (55:45), for the 12-month period, 7.2 percent of all poults or 3.2 percent of tom poults (8.6 million) and 3.9 percent of hen poults (10.5 million) were not placed. This is an unsubstantiated estimate with a fluctuating demand for processed toms and hens in a post-COVID affected market. (See relative numbers of hen and tom poults processed under Production Data below).


* USDA revision from previous monthly report.

To be updated in mid-November 2021 following release of monthly USDA data


Turkey Production:

The November 5th 2021 edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol. 68: No.44) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-

  • For the processing week ending October 30th 2021, 2.474 million young hens were slaughtered during the processing week at a live weight of 16.3 lbs. (last week 2,354 million hens at 16.9 lbs.). During the corresponding week in 2020, 2.369 million hens were processed, 4.2 percent less than the most recent week in 2021. Ready-to-cook (RTC) hen weight for the week attained 32.4 million lbs. (14,729 metric tons), 5.3 percent less than in the corresponding processing week of 2020. Dressing percentage was a nominal 80.5. In 2021 RTC hen production has attained 1,021.7 million lbs. (464,400 metric tons), 1.4 percent less than for YTD 2020.


  • For the processing week ending October 30th 2021, 2.031 million toms were slaughtered at 43.4 lbs., compared to 2.042 million toms processed during the previous week at 44.4 lbs. For the corresponding week in 2020, 2.279 million toms were processed, 12.2 percent more than in the most recent week in 2021. Ready-to-cook tom weight for the week attained 71.0 million lbs. (32,283 metric tons), <0.1 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2020.  Dressing percentage was a nominal 80.5 percent. In 2021 RTC tom product has attained 3,235 million lbs. (1,470,276 metric tons), 7.4 percent less than YTD 2020.


  • The National average frozen hen price during the past week was 141.0 cents per lb., up 8.0 cents per lb. from the previous week and up approximately 43 cents per lb. from the three-year average. The following prices rounded to nearest cent were documented for domestic and export trading on November 5th 2021:-



cents per lb.

Change from previous Week (%)

Frozen hens



Frozen toms



Fresh hens



Fresh toms



Breasts 4.0-6.5 lb. (frozen)


             No new quotation

Breasts (B/S) tom


             No new quotation

Drums (toms for export)


             No new quotation

Wings (V-cut tom)



Wings (V-cut hens)


             No new quotation

Thigh Meat (frozen for export)


             No new quotation

Mechanically Separated (export)


             No new quotation

  1. Presumed value



On November 1st 2021 cold storage holdings at selected centers amounted to 54,699 lbs., 17.7 percent less than the inventory of 66,428 lbs. on October 1st 2021.


The October 22nd 2021 edition of the USD


A Cold Storage Report issued monthly, documented a total turkey stock of 413.7 million lbs. (188,045 metric tons) on September 30th 2021, equivalent to 4.6 weeks of current production and down 17.5 percent compared to the inventory on September 30th 2020. The September 30th 2021value was 3.4 percent below the August 31st 2021 level. This change is consistent with season and denotes a restoration of balance between supply and the combination of domestic demand and exports.


The Whole Turkey category of 258.4 million lbs. representing 62.5 percent of total storage of 913.7 million lbs. on September 30th 2021 was 5.3 percent lower than the inventory on September 30th 2020. Tom carcasses in storage increased by 5.8 percent from September 30th 2020 to 161.5 million lbs. on September 30th 2021. Hen carcasses in storage decreased by 19.5 percent from September 30th 2020 to 96.9 million lbs. on September 30th 2021. Hen carcasses decreased 1.8 percent during September from August 2021.


Breasts in storage declined by 50.6 percent from September 30th 2020 to 41.6 million lbs. on September 30th 2021.

The “Other” and “Unclassified” categories collectively amounted to 100.8 million lbs. or 24.4 percent of inventory on September 30th 2021. The magnitude of these two non-specified categories suggests that the USDA should attempt to classify product more accurately as to specific product.


September 2021 Production

According to the USDA Poultry Slaughter Report released on October 25th 2021 covering, September 2021 comprising 21 working days:-

  • During September 18.2 million young turkeys were processed. (0.1 percent less than in September 2020);
  • Total live weight attained 585.1 million lbs. (0.4 percent less than September 2020);
  • Average live weight was 32.2 lbs. (0.6 percent less than September 2020);
  • RTC attained 467.6 million lbs. (down 0.4 percent from September 2020) with a yield of 79.9 percent.
  • The proportion of frozen product in September 2021 attained 38.4 percent of total RTC produced.
  • In September 2021 ante-mortem condemnation attained 0.31 percent of live weight, (0.27 in September 2020). During the past month 2021, 1.3 percent of RTC weight was condemned (1.2 percent in September 2020)


(To be updated in late November with data for October)



Please review comments in the Weekly Broiler Report and the year-to-date export data under the Statistics Tab.

The USMCA has been in effect since July 1st 2020. The U.S. turkey industry shipped 173,544 metric tons to Mexico or 62.6 percent of all turkey exports, valued at $389 million during 2018. In 2019 Mexico received 176,789 metric tons representing 60.9 percent of turkey exports valued at $427 million. Thailand commenced importing raw turkey effective January 1st 2021 after lifting an avian influenza embargo that was placed on the U.S. allowing only cooked turkey in 2015. During 2020 Mexico imported 166,771 metric tons of turkey products valued at $379 million with a unit value of $2,273 per metric ton. During 2020 China imported 17,260 metric tons of turkey products with a value of $28.7 million representing a unit value of $1,663 per metric ton.


For the first nine months of 2021 exports of turkey products attained 186,379 metric tons valued at $477 million up 0.8 percent in volume and 14.4 percent in value compared to the corresponding period in 2020. Unit value increased by 13.5 percent in January-September 2020 from $2,254 to $2,558 per metric ton over the corresponding nine months in 2021.

Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane