Poultry Industry News, Comments & More

Broiler Week


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices, November 19th 2021.


Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on November 17th 2021 confirmed that a total of 240.4 million eggs were set during the week ending November 13th 2021, up seven percent from the corresponding week of the previous year and up 3.0 percent (7.0 million eggs) compared to the previous week in 2021.


A total of 174.2 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending November 13th 2021. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 182.4 million, up four percent from the corresponding week in 2020 and 2.6 percent (4.6 million) chicks more than the previous week. Claimed average hatchability was 79.7 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier, (79.4 percent for the previous week). Each 1.0 percent change in hatchability represents 1.8 million chicks placed per week with the current range of weekly settings.


Cumulative chick placements for the period January 9th 2021 through November 13th 2021 amounted to 8.34 billion chicks, up less than one percent from the corresponding period in 2020.


During the period October 9th through November 13th 2021 weekly placements were on average 0.8 percent higher compared with the corresponding six weeks in 2020 (with a range of two percent down to four percent up on corresponding weeks). Low chick placements during the past twelve weeks is attributed to setting a proportion of hatching eggs with depressed fertility that were derived from high-yield breed combinations placed by some integrators. Additional breeder flocks have been placed to compensate for reduced fertility and hence hatch but their contribution has yet to be realized based on age. The average 5.3 percent increase in eggs per week set over the past six weeks should be reflected in higher placements as recorded in mid-November and in broilers harvested during late-December onwards.


Broiler Production

According to the November 19th USDA Broiler Market News (Vol. 68, No. 46) for the processing week ending November 13th 2021, 165.4 million broilers were processed during the past week (previous week 164.6 million) at an average live weight of 6.38 lbs. (6.41 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76 percent. The number of broilers processed was 0.8 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2020. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 802.0 million lbs. (364,540 metric tons), (801.8 million lbs. last week), 0.4 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2020. In 2021 Processed (RTC) production has attained 36.24 billion lbs. (16,474,328 metric tons) to date, 0.4 percent less than YTD 2020.


Broiler Price

The USDA National Composite Weighted Wholesale price on November 19th 2021 was up 2.8 cent per lb. compared to the previous week at 105.7 cents per lb., compared to 80.1 cents per lb. during the corresponding week of 2020; 103.0 cents per lb. for October 2021 and 85.0 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 November 19th 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 November 13th 2021 and YTD 2021 were:-

Live Weight Range (lbs.)





Proportion past week (%)





Change from 2020 YTD (%)






During the week ending November 13th broilers for QSR and food service (live, 3.6 lb. to 4.3 lb.) represented 19 percent (previous week 20 percent) of processed volume.


On November 15th 2020 cold storage holdings of processed poultry other than chicken at selected centers amounted to 58,978 lbs., 5.9 percent less than the inventory of 62,692 lbs. on November 1st 2021.


According to the most recent November 22nd 2021 USDA Cold Storage Report, issued monthly, stocks as of October 31st 2021 compared to October 31st 2020 showed differences with respect to the following categories:-

  • Total Chicken category attained 756.3 million lbs. (343,727 metric tons) corresponding to an average of 1.4 weeks production based on average YTD 2021 weekly RTC output. The October 31st 2021 inventory was down 17.0 percent compared to 911.3 million lbs. (414,231 metric tons) on October 31st 2020
  • Leg Quarters were up by 16.1 percent to 87.9 million lbs. consistent with the data on exports. Inventory was up 6.6 percent from September 30th 2021, possibly due to delays in exporting product. The USDA inexplicably 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 as the principal chicken export product to a number of nations including China.
  • The Breasts and Breast Meat category was down 33.4 percent from October 31st 2020 to 161.6 million lbs. indicating higher domestic demand from retail with slow recovery of the food service sector. The QSRs are actively promoting chicken sandwiches.
  • Wings showed a 49.4 percent increase from October 31st 2020, contributing to a stock of 69.9 million lbs. This category was 7.8 percent higher on October 31st 2021 compared to September 31st The increase denotes lower demand attributed to “wing fatigue” in addition to competition from “boneless wings”
  • Paws and Feet declined by 0.2 percent on October 31st 2021 to 30.3 million lbs. compared to October 31st 2020 and inventory increased 2.9 percent from September 30th 2021*. Export data for March and April 2020 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 313.5 million lbs. was down 16.7 percent from October 30th 2020 but represented a significant 41.4 percent of inventory on October 31st 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-September 2021 under the STATISTICS Tab)

October 2021 Production

The USDA Poultry Slaughter Report released on November 23rd 2021 covering October 2021 comprising 21 working days. The following values were documented for the month:-

  • A total of 771.3 million broilers were processed, down 2.1 percent from October 2020;
  • Total live weight was 5.20 billion lbs., was up 1.2 percent from October 2020;
  • Unit live weight was 6.56 lbs., was up 1.2 percent from October 2020.
  • RTC attained 3.8 billion lbs., down 0.6 percent from October 2020.
  • WOG yield of 75.6 percent unchanged from October 2020.
  • The proportion marketed as chilled in October 2021 comprised 93.4 percent of RTC output.
  • Ante-mortem condemnation as a proportion of live weight attained 0.19 percent during October 2021 the same as in October 2020.
  • Post-mortem condemnations as a proportion of processed mass corresponded to 0.46 percent during October 2021 compared to 0.52 percent in October 2020.


To be updated in late December reflecting November 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. 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 nine months of 2021 exports of broiler parts and feet combined attained a volume of 2,769,515 metric tons (2,619,333 metric tons in January-September 2020) with a value of $3,300 million ($2,624 January-September 2020). Unit value increased 19.0 percent from January-September 2020 to $1,192 per metric ton (including feet) from $1,002 (excluding feet January-April) for the nine-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