Poultry Industry News, Comments & More

U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports in January-April 2022


Chick-NewsTotal exports of bone-in broiler parts and feet for January-April 2022 attained 1,258,760 metric tons, 5.6 percent more than during the corresponding months in 2021 (1,191,632 metric tons). Total value of exports increased by 20.4 percent to $1,628 million ($1,351 million 2021).


Unit price is constrained by the fact that leg quarters comprise over 95 percent of broiler meat exports (excluding feet). From Q1-2021 to date unit value of leg quarters has risen consistent with international demand. Despite the recent welcome increase in unit price, leg quarters represent a relatively low-value commodity lacking in pricing power. Exporters of commodities are subjected to competition from domestic production in importing nations. Generic products such as leg quarters are vulnerable to trade disputes and embargos based on real or contrived disease restrictions.


Chick-NewsThe outbreak of African swine fever in China and Southeast Asia from early 2019 onwards coupled with disruptions in chicken production and logistics thereafter due to COVID restrictions, increased demand for protein with international repercussions on trade in chicken and pork. The demand for pork imports to China is abating as hog production is restored and mild overproduction is evident in the white-feathered broiler sector with implications for exports other than feet during the second half of 2022.


The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports for January-April 2022 with the corresponding months of 2021:-








Broiler Meat & Feet

Volume (metric tons)



+67,128 (+5.6%)

Value ($ millions)



+276 (+20.4%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



+158 (+13.9%)

Turkey Meat

Volume (metric tons)



 -16,851 (-21.2%)

Value ($ millions)



+29 (+16.2%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



+1,067 (+47.4%)


2021 AND 2022




Total broiler parts, predominantly leg quarters but including feet, exported during January-April 2022 as compared with 2021 increased by 5.6 percent in volume and 20.4 percent in value. Unit value was 13.9 percent higher at $1,293 per metric ton.


The top five importers of broiler meat represented 55.8 percent of shipments during January-April 2022. The top ten importers comprised 72.3 percent of the total volume reflecting increasing concentration among the significant importing nations.


During April 2022 volume was 6.1 percent higher to 307,115 metric tons compared to April 2021. Value was 12.9 percent higher to $414.7 million attributed to a 6.3 percent increase in unit value to $1,350 per metric ton.


According to USDA statistics during the first quarter of 2022 feet accounted for 67.0 percent of value (104,760 metric tons) valued at $226 million with a unit price of $2,156 per metric ton. Other broiler products exported to China during the first quarter included legs 27.0 percent at a unit price of $943 per ton; edible giblets 5.5 percent at $1,500 per ton and 2.9 percent wings at $1,530 per ton. 


During January-April 2022 exports of all broiler products to first-ranked (by value) China were 40.3 percent higher by volume at 204,439 metric tons and 48.9 percent higher by value at $372 million compared to January-April 2021. Average unit price for all exports to China in January-April 2022 was $1,820 per ton compared with $1,293 per ton for all exports, or excluding China $1,190 per ton, demonstrating the weighting of feet on export value.


During January-April 2022 Mexico was the first-ranked importer by volume with 227,710 metric tons representing 18.0 percent of export volume down 4.3 percent from January-April 2021. Value at $243 million was 15.0 percent of the total for exported broiler products during the four months and down 9.0 percent from the corresponding months in 2021, attributable to a 4.9 percent decrease in unit price to $1,071 per metric ton.


During January-April 2022 nations gaining in volume compared to 2021 (with the percentage change indicated) in descending order of volume were:-


China (+40%); Taiwan, (+34%); Canada, (+11%); South Africa, (+26%); Haiti, (+7%); Congo-Brazzaville, (+140%); and UAE, (+28%);


Losses in January-April 2022 offset gains in exports with declines for:-

Mexico, (-4%); Cuba, (-9%); Philippines, (-25%); Angola, (-20%); Viet Nam, (-24%);

Colombia, (-35%).



The volume of turkey meat exported during January-April 2022 decreased by 21.2 percent from the corresponding months in 2021 but value rose by 16.2 percent compared to January-April 2021 with an increase in average unit value of 47.4 percent from $2,249 per metric ton to $3,316 per metric ton.


For April 2022 volume declined 31.5 percent compared to April 2021 to 13,998 metric tons. Value was lower by 10.6 percent compared to April 2021 to $44.7 million due to an increase in unit value of 47.4 percent to $3,316 per metric ton.


For the entire year of 2021 volume declined by 3.9 percent to 249,045 metric tons compared to 2020 but value increased by 14.0 percent to $665 million reflecting a 59.1 percent increase in unit value to $3,321 per metric ton. This trend is apparent in 2022.


During January-April 2022 nations gaining in volume compared to 2021 (with the percentage change indicated) in descending order of volume were China, (+141%) and Jamaica, (+12%). The 2022 gains were offset by losses in exports to Mexico, (-19%); Canada, (-27%); Benin, effectively Nigeria, (-30%); and the Dominican Republic, (-9%).




The June 16th 2022 Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, forecast unchanged broiler exports in 2022 to be 3.352 million metric tons (7,376 million lbs.) For 2023 exports of broiler products were projected to be 3.393 million metric tons (7,465 million lbs.). This value represents 16.3 percent of the projected production of 20.761 million metric tons (45,676 million lb.) of broiler RTC by the U.S. industry.


For 2022 the USDA forecast turkey exports to fall by 32.4 percent to 169,090 metric tons (372,000 million lbs.) representing 6.9 percent of production.


Projected exports of turkey products in 2023 were raised to 395,000 metric tons, (869,000 million lbs.) or 7.0 percent of annual production of 2.568 million metric tons (5,650 million lbs.).


The Administration successfully re-negotiated NAFTA into a new trilateral USMCA on September 30th 2018.This agreement was ratified by legislatures of the three nations and took effect on July 1st 2020. It is important to recognize that exports of chicken and turkey meat products to our NAFTA partners amounted to $1,264 million in 2020, $1,264 million in 2021 and $417 million during the first quarter of the present year. It will be important to respect the terms of the USMCA since punitive action against Mexico and Canada on other issues will result in reciprocal action by our trading partners to the possible detriment of the poultry and dairy industries.


The emergence of H5N1strain avian influenza virus with a Eurasian genome in migratory waterfowl in all four Flyways was responsible for sporadic outbreaks of avian influenza in backyard flocks and serious commercial losses in egg-producing complexes and turkey flocks but to a lesser extent in broilers. The probability of outbreaks of HPAI over succeeding weeks is unlikely but will be a function of continuous shedding by migratory and possibly some endemic birds and the intensity and efficiency of biosecurity, representing investment in structural improvements and operational procedures. To date 2.5 million broilers on 12 farms and in excess of 5.5 million turkeys on 131 farms have been depleted as a result of HPAI.


The application of restricted county-wide embargos following the limited and regional cases of HPAI in broilers with restoration of eligibility 28 days after decontamination has facilitated export volume for the U.S. broiler industry. Exports of turkey products have been more constrained with plants processing turkeys in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Iowa impacted.


The live-bird market system supplying metropolitan areas, the presence of numerous backyard flocks, fighting cocks and commercial laying hens allowed outside access, potentially in contact with migratory birds, all represent an ongoing danger to the entire U.S. commercial industry. The live-bird segments of U.S. poultry production represent a risk to the export eligibility of the broiler and turkey industries notwithstanding compartmentalization for breeders and regionalization to counties or states for commercial production.

Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane