Poultry Industry Statistics and Reports

Rabobank Poultry Quarterly Q1 2022


Rabobank issued the Poultry Quarterly covering the first three months of 2022 in mid-December.  Lead author Nan-Dirk Mulder reviewed global trends in chicken production and profitability with comments on trade, domestic and export demand and ingredient costs for the major nations considered.


In a generally optimistic report, Rabobank project a two percent global growth in demand for chicken.  This will be reflected in higher unit revenue, but offset by escalation in ingredient and labor costs.  Avian influenza remains a concern in Europe and Asia with African swine fever remaining as a factor determining availability of animal protein.  COVID will be an unknown factor influencing both demand and availability of labor. 



Specific comments on producing nations included:-

  • In China, wet markets represent a lower proportion of sales of chicken but the market for white-feathered broilers is saturated.
  •  In Thailand COVID has impacted the availability of labor, seriously reducing exports since this nation relies on hand deboning and preparation of high-value specialty products. 
  • For Japan and the EU, the report considered major producers of chicken and continued imports. 
  • U.S. growth in 2022 will increase by slightly more than 2.0 percent.  Export volume will increase by approximately one percent, but value will be higher compared to 2021. 
  • Exports from Brazil will increase in volume and carry higher prices.  Although China represents 15 percent of chicken exports, volumes are increasing to the Philippines, the UAE, Japan, and the EU.  Brazil is gaining market share in Mexico with a 600 percent increase to 99,000 metric tons in 2021.  Brazil should stabilize exports to Saudi Arabia following suspension of plants in mid-2021.  Domestic demand may be restrained by economic conditions and COVID.
  • E.U. prices will increase in 2022 for whole birds and portions.  Avian influenza is an anticipated restraint together with low availability of labor and high ingredient cost.  The E.U. has lost markets in the U.K. after Brexit and to Chile.  Reduced imports will be recorded from the U.K., Ukraine, and Chile.  Imports from Thailand dropped by approximately one third to 28,000 metric tons in Q3 of 2021 due to inability of that nation to supply.  The capacity of EU nations to control COVID will influence production and prices during Q1 of 2022 and possibly thereafter.
  • Demand and hence prices are increasing in Mexico and this trend will continue through 2022. Production will expand by two percent in volume, but imports will be higher with imports from the U.S. and also Brazil that now account for 10 percent of the market.
  • In Russia meat prices will escalate but margins will be offset by increased feed costs that are partly constrained by export taxes on soybeans and grains.
  • The balance between supply and demand in China has resulted in relatively weak to fluctuating prices for white-feathered live birds.  With restoration of pork production progressing, imports have declined and profitability of chicken production in 2022 is questionable.


Turkey Week


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices December 24th 2021


Poult Production and Placement:

The December 15th 2021 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 26.0 million eggs in incubators on December 1st 2021 (26.5 million eggs on November 1st 2021*) and down 1.8 percent (0.48 million eggs) from December 1st 2020.


A total of 22.4 million poults were hatched during November 2021 (21.9 million in October 2021*), representing an increase of 0.9 percent (0.2 million poults) from November 2020.


A total of 20.5 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in November 2021, (19.9 million in October 2021*), 2.2 percent (0.4 million poults) more than in November 2020. This suggests disposal of 1.9 million poults during the month (1.9 million in October 2021). Based on the proportion of 55 percent hens to 45 percent toms processed in September and October it is calculated that 0.9 million hen poults representing 4.0 percent of the November hatch and 1.0 million tom poults representing 4.5 percent of the November hatch were not placed during the month.

For the twelve-month period December 2020 through November 2021 inclusive, 264.9 million poults were hatched and 246.5 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 18.4 million poults. Assuming an equal proportion of placements between toms and hens reared year to date, for the 12-month period, 6.9 percent of all poults were not placed. This is an unsubstantiated estimate with a fluctuating demand for processed toms and hens in a post-COVID affected market with toms predominating during the first and second quarters of 2021 and more hens placed in the third and fourth quarters. (See relative numbers of hen and tom poults processed under Production Data below).

* USDA revision from previous monthly report.


Broiler Week


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices, November December 24th 2021.

Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on December 22nd 2021 confirmed that a total of 238.7 million eggs were set during the week ending December 18th 2021, up one percent from the corresponding week of the previous year but down 0.5 percent (1.2 million eggs) compared to the previous week in 2021.


A total of 177.8 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending December 18th 2021. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 187.3 million, equivalent to the corresponding week in 2020 and 0.7 percent (1.3 million chicks) more than the previous week. Claimed average hatchability was 79.1 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier, (80.1 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 December 18th 2021 amounted to 9.27 billion chicks, up less than one percent from the corresponding period in 2020.

During the period November 13th through December 18th 2021 weekly placements were on average 2.2 percent higher compared with the corresponding six weeks in 2020 (with a range of one percent lower to four percent higher than corresponding weeks). Low chick placements during the past sixteen 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 3.2 percent increase in eggs per week set over the past six weeks was reflected in higher placements as recorded from mid-November onwards and will be reflected in broilers to be harvested during late-December forward.


Broiler Production

According to the December 23rd USDA Broiler Market News (Vol. 68, No. 51) for the processing week ending December 18th 2021, 163.1 million broilers were processed during the past week (previous week 166.0 million) at an average live weight of 6.39 lbs. (6.41 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76 percent. The number of broilers processed was 2.5 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2020. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 792.2 million lbs. (360,069 metric tons), (808.7 million lbs. last week), 1.7 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2020. In 2021 Processed (RTC) production has attained 40.02 billion lbs. (18,192,543 metric tons) to date, 0.5 percent less than YTD 2020.


Poultry Meat Projection


Updated USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Projection for December 2021.


On December 15th 2021 the USDA-Economic Research Service released updated production and consumption data with respect to broilers and turkeys, covering 2020 (actual), a projection for 2021 and a forecast for 2022.


Broiler RTC production in 2021 updated from the November 2021 report reflected a 0.3 percent increase over 2020 to 20.332 million metric tons RTC (44,730 million lbs.). Per capita consumption in 2021 will be 0.5 percent lower compared to 2020 at 43.5 kg. (95.7 lbs.). Exports should represent 16.9 percent of RTC production in 2021 attaining 3.430 million metric tons (7,545 million lbs.) representing both RTC and feet. The projection for 2022 is for 20.682 million metric tons (45,540 million lbs.) with a per capita consumption of 44.2 kg (97.3 lbs.) and exports of 3.409 million metric tons (7,500 million lbs.).


Turkey production for 2021 compared to 2020 was reduced by 0.3 percent to 2.542 million metric tons RTC, (5,592 million lbs.). Per capita consumption is projected at 7.0 kg. (15.3 lb.) in 2021, 0.3 kg lower than 2020 despite extensive promotions and introduction of further-processed items. Export volume for 2021 is expected to attain 0.255 million metric tons (561 million lbs.). Values for production and consumption of RTC turkey in 2021 are considered to be realistic, given the prevailing economy, lower poult placements, weekly production levels and inventories.


The USDA provided a forecast for the turkey industry in 2022 comprising annual production of 2.564 million metric tons (5,640 million lbs.) with consumption of 7.4 kg (16.3 lbs.) per capita.


The export projections do not allow for a breakdown in trade relations with existing partners including China nor the emergence of catastrophic diseases including HPAI and vvND in either the U.S. or importing nations. Metric values for the broiler and turkey segments of the U.S. poultry meat industry are tabulated below:-









Difference %

2021 to 2022



Production (m. metric tons)





Consumption (kg per capita)





Exports (m. metric tons)





Proportion of production (%)








Production (m. metric tons)





Consumption (kg per capita)





Exports (m. metric tons)





Proportion of production (%)





Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released December 15th 2020


The projection takes into account forecast exports to China, ranked second with imports of 512,587 metric tons of chicken products including feet during 2020 valued at $732 million. During the first ten months of 2021 China imported 371,314 metric tons of chicken products (feet, leg quarters and edible giblets) valued at $690 million. Average unit price for broiler exports including parts and feet but excluding imports by China, attained $1,107 per metric ton for the first ten months of 2021. Unit value to China was $1,858 per metric ton suggesting a high proportion of feet shipped.


Subscribers are referred to the weekly updates of production and inventories of broilers and turkeys posted weekly on CHICK-NEWS and the review of monthly export data under the STATISTICS tab.


U.S. Meat Exports


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports, January-October 2021.

Total exports of bone-in broiler parts and feet in January-October 2021 attained 3,090,036 metric tons, 4.5 percent more than during the first ten months of 2020 (2,957,806 metric tons). Total value of exports increased by 25.7 percent to $3,700 million ($2,624 million 2020).


Unit price is constrained by the fact that leg quarters comprise over 96 percent of broiler meat exports (excluding feet). In 2021 to date unit value of leg quarters has risen consistent with international demand and inflation in protein foods. 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.


The outbreak of African swine fever in China and Southeast Asia from early 2019 onwards coupled with disruptions in chicken production thereafter in 2020 due to COVID, increased demand for protein with international repercussions on trade in chicken and pork. This trend is abating as hog production is restored in China and overproduction is evident in the white-feathered broiler sector with implications for exports during 2022.


Over the first ten months of 2021 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 3,122,429 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $3,780 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,211 per metric ton, 20.3 percent higher in unit value than for the corresponding ten months of 2020 ($1,007 per metric ton).


The NCC breakdown of chicken exports during January-October of 2021 by proportion and unit price for each broiler category compared with the corresponding period of 2020 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-

  • Chicken parts 6%; Unit value $1,151 per metric ton ($959)
  • Prepared chicken 3%; Unit value $2,891 per metric ton ($3,532)
  • Whole chicken 1%; Unit value $1,335 per metric ton ($1,002) 


Direct comparisons between January-October 2020 and 2021 are not entirely valid. The USDA combined export quantities of feet with chicken meat from April 2020 onwards.


The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports for January-October 2020 with 2021:-


Jan.-Oct. 2020

Jan.-Oct. 2021


Broiler Meat & Feet

Volume (metric tons)



+132,230 (+4.5%)

Value ($ millions)



+756 (+25.7%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



+202 (+19.8%)

Turkey Meat

Volume (metric tons)



-5,228 (-2.4%)

Value ($ millions)



+61 (+12.7%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



+349 (+15.5%)

Chicken Paws


Volume (metric tons)


Not disclosed

Value ($ millions)


Not disclosed

Unit value ($/m. ton)


Not disclosed

*See note concerning inclusion of feet in totals from April onwards in text above





Total broiler parts, predominantly leg quarters but including feet and other parts, exported during January-October 2021 as compared with the first ten months of 2020 increased by 4.5 percent in volume and 25.7 percent in value. Unit value was 19.8 percent higher at $1,197 per metric ton.


Total broiler parts, predominantly leg quarters but including feet, exported during October 2021 as compared with the corresponding month in 2020 declined by 5.3 percent in volume to 320,521 metric tons but increased by 24.8 percent in value to $400 million. Unit value was 31.6 percent higher to $1,247 per metric ton.


The top five importers of broiler meat represented 50.9 percent of shipments during the first ten months of 2021. The top ten importers comprised 67.5 percent of the total volume reflecting concentration among the significant importing nations.


For January-October 2021 Mexico was the largest importer of broiler meat from the U.S. by both volume and value with 682,220 metric tons representing 22.1 percent of volume and 19.2 percent of total value at a unit price of $1,041 per metric ton. Mexico reduced volume in October 2021 by 12.1 percent over October 2020 with a disproportionate 32.4 percent increase in value to $68.7 million with a unit value of $1,119 per metric ton.


China was ranked second by volume and value among importers of broiler parts and feet combined during January-October 2021. China represented 12.0 percent of export volume and 18.7 percent of value at an average unit price of $1,859 per ton indicating a high proportion of feet shipped. In October, China reduced volume (down 38.9 percent to 40,429 metric tons) compared to October 2020 and value was down a disproportionate 9.9 percent to $77.5 million with a unit value of $1,917 suggesting a change in product mix or an escalation in unit price of feet. Future export sales will be constrained by recovery of hog production and domestic white-feathered chicken production that is currently in oversupply


The relative volume of shipments of feet to Hong Kong and China during March and April 2020 imply that about half the consigned feet to Hong Kong prior to March of this year were trans-shipped to Mainland China. Based on frozen stock levels it is apparent that export of chicken meat to China continues but at a moderate rate with the U.S. frozen inventory of leg quarters up 16.1 percent between October 31st 2020 and the end of October 2021 to 87.9 million lbs. The U.S. inventory of leg quarters increased by 6.6 percent from September 30th 2021 to October 31st 2021. The U.S. inventory of frozen paws and feet increased over the period October 31st 2020 to October 31st 2021 by 0.2 percent to 30.3 million lbs.


Data on April 2021 exports of chicken to China amounting to 35,147 metric tons comprised 62.5 percent paws; 30.0 percent bone-in legs; 6.5 percent edible by-products (necks, gizzards, livers and hearts) and 1.0 percent wings with an average unit price of $2,103 per metric ton. Data released by the General Administration of Customs of the Government of China do not correlate with USDA figures for individual products exported.


Cuba remained third in rank for January-October 2021 with 8.0 percent of volume and 6.2 percent of value. Shipments were 72.6 percent higher compared to January-October 2020 at 248,089 metric tons. In October imports of 20,991 metric tons were up 34.9 percent over October 2020. It is hoped that this trade worth $191 million in 2019 and $144 million in 2020 will not be compromised by injudicious diplomatic activity or politically inspired restraints such as enforcement of the Helms-Burton Act or extreme restrictions on travel or remittances to families. This market is courted by both Brazil and Argentina. Cuba has lost financial support from Venezuela in addition to collapse of tourism due to COVID-19, reducing availability of foreign currency.


Philippines continued imports retaining fourth in rank with 139,178 metric tons valued at $130.3 million for January-October 2021. The unit value of $936 per ton reflects predominantly leg quarters combined with MDM. Inflation in the cost of protein in the Philippines was caused by mismanagement of African Swine Fever (ASF) by the Government. A protectionist import duty on pork was only reduced in early April from 30 percent to 5 percent. In October 2021 exports to the Philippines held at 9,852 metric tons and were up 9.1 percent as compared to October 2020. Shipments in October 2021 were up 14.8 percent from September 2021 with Philippines as the eighth-ranked importer. Given the difficulty of controlling ASF in the absence of an effective vaccine, Philippine exports will continue through the intermediate term but at a progressively lower level as the outbreak is suppressed by quarantine and other restrictions.


Taiwan was the fifth-ranked importer during January-October 2021 with 4.3 percent of U.S. export volume and 3.6 percent of value attributed to the product mix with a unit price of $1,013 per metric ton, suggesting leg quarters as the principal product. During January-October 2021 imports from the U.S. declined 36.5 percent in volume and 30.2 percent in value compared to the first ten months of 2020. Exports to fifth-ranked Taiwan in October 2021 fell 32.6 percent to 12,988 metric tons compared to October 2020 with 19,283 metric tons.


Canada was the sixth-ranked importer receiving 122,744 metric tons valued at $282.5 million with a unit value of $2,301 per metric ton indicating added-value product. In October 2021 exports to Canada attained 12.001 metric tons, down by 10.8 percent from October 2020.


Guatemala was seventh in rank during January-October with 117,502 metric tons representing 3.8 percent of export volume. Value was $138.5 million with a unit value of $1,179 per metric ton. In October 2021 exports represented 3.7 percent of volume and 3.3 percent of value, up 56.0 percent from October 2020.


There is constant fluctuation among the second-tier nations importing broiler meat with average monthly volumes ranging from 2,000 to 9,000 metric tons. Expansion in volume is due to the promotional activities of USAPEEC and their regional representatives interacting with traders.


During January-October 2021 nations gaining in volume compared to the corresponding months in 2020 (with the percentage change indicated) in descending order of volume were:-

Mexico, (+20%); Cuba, (+73%); Philippines, (+118%); Guatemala, (+25%);

Angola (+39%); Colombia, (+5%); Haiti, (+42%); Ghana, (+43%) and

Kazakhstan, (+181%).

January-October 2021 gains were offset by losses in exports to:-

Taiwan, (-37%); China, (-7%); Viet Nam, (-35%); South Africa, (-9%);

UAE, (-6%), Congo-Brazzaville, (-13%), Georgia, (54%); Chile, (-31%).

Hong Kong, was not among the top-20 importers during 2021.



The volume of turkey meat exported during January-October 2021 decreased by 2.4 percent but value rose by 12.7 percent compared to January-October 2020 with an increase in average unit value of 15.5 percent from $2,247 per metric ton to $2,596 per metric ton. In October 2021 volume declined by 23.5 percent to 21,896 metric tons compared to October 2020 but value increased by 1.0 percent reflecting a 32.0 percent increase in unit value to $2,902 per metric ton.


Mexico, the leading importer received 67.5 percent of turkey meat shipped during the first ten months of 2021, amounting to 140,662 metric tons, 3.6 percent more than during 2020. Exports of turkey products to Mexico amounted to $360.5 million at a unit price of $2,562 per metric ton and represented 66.7 percent of the total value of $540.6 million shipped. Mexico reduced imports in October 2021 compared to the corresponding month in 2020 to14,351 metric tons but the volume was 11.9 percent higher than in September 2021.


Benin was ranked a distant second for the first ten months of 2021 with 6,278 metric tons at a unit value of $1,450 per metric ton, denoting low-value product. Of the ten-month period, volumes in 2021 ranged from 463 metric tons in June to 828 metric tons in October. Continued exports to Benin will be a function of the porosity of the border with Nigeria and “dash” for customs officials.


South Africa was third-ranked as an importer of turkey products for the first ten months of 2021 with a volume of 5,239 metric tons representing 2.5 percent of U.S. export volume and 1.7 percent of value at $9.1 million. South Africa was not among the top six turkey importers in October constrained by the economic situation and port congestion.


Canada was the fourth-ranked importer for January-October 2021 with 5,110 metric tons valued at $20.2 million with a unit price at $3,953 per metric ton. Volume of 527 metric tons in October 2021 was down 2.3 percent and value was up 35.3 percent compared to October 2020.


China imported 4,495 metric tons over the first ten months of 2021 down 69.0 percent in volume and 54.0 percent in value at $10.8 million compared to the corresponding period in 2020.


During the first quarter of 2020 the U.S. concluded a limited trade agreement with Japan to place U.S. exporters on parity with E.U. competitors. This had the potential to restore the ranking of Japan as a significant importer. In 2019 turkey shipments to Japan were valued at $21.9 million but with a unit price of $4,153 per metric ton. Negligible exports were recorded during 2020 and January-October 2021 due to Japan sourcing from the E.U.



The November 16th 2021 Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, projected that broiler exports would attain 3.363 million metric tons (7,399 million lbs.) in 2022. This value represents 16.5 percent of the projected production of 20.564 million metric tons (45,240 million lb.) of broiler RTC by the U.S. industry.


Exports of turkey products in 2022 are projected at 257,000 metric tons, (565,400 million lbs.) or 9.9 percent of annual production of 2.591 million metric tons (5,700 million lbs.)


The Administration successfully re-negotiated NAFTA into a new trilateral USMCA on September 30th 2018.This agreement has been 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 $1.279 billion in 2018, $1.407 billion in 2019 and $1,264 in 2020, impacted by COVID. It will be important to respect the terms of the USMCA since punitive action against Mexico and Canada will result in reciprocal action by our trading partners to the detriment of the poultry and dairy industries. A meeting in Mexico City on the 1st anniversary of the USMCA allowed U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai to resolve issues with her counterparts representing Mexico and Canada


 The live-bird market system supplying metropolitan areas, our 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. This is evidenced by recovery of H5N3 LPAI in March from both a live market in San Francisco County and the supply farm. This event impacted the export of products from the Port of Oakland to various Asian nations. The problem of trade embargos resurfaced this month following confirmation of a limited outbreak of low-pathogenicity H7 strain avian influenza in a multi-species farm in Stanislaus County, California. Importing nations have placed limited area and county-wide bans as a result. The live bird segments of poultry production place at risk the export eligibility of the broiler and turkey industries notwithstanding compartmentalization for breeders and regionalization for commercial production.


USDA-WASDE FORECAST #619 December 9th 2021



The December WASDE documented the end of the 2021growing season with no changes in acreage or yield and hence harvests of either corn or soybeans. The USDA ERS retained the projected ending stocks of corn, soybeans and soybean meal from the November report with the 2021 harvest advanced at this time. The area of corn harvested was confirmed to be 85.1 million acres. Soybeans were harvested from 86.4 million acres.


The December 2021 WASDE firm estimate of corn yield was retained at 177.0 bushels per acre, based on completion of the corn harvest by late November, (175.8 bushels per acre in 2020). The estimate of soybean yield was retained at 51.2 bushels per acre based on completion of the harvest by late November (50.7 bushels per acre in 2020).


The December 2021 USDA projection for the ending stock of corn was retained at 1,493 million bushels. Anticipating supply and exports, USDA retained the projection of ending stock for soybeans at 340 million bushels.


Projections for ending stocks of both corn and soybeans have influenced recent CME price quotations concurrently with fluctuation in exports. China only places orders in accordance with their needs and central Government policy rather than compliance with the Phase-One trade agreement of February 2020. The December WASDE projection retained the price of corn at $5.45 per bushel. The soybean projection of price was maintained at 1,210 cents per bushel. Soybean Meal was raised $5 per ton to $325.


It is accepted that projections are based on the reality that China sharply increased purchases of commodities during the recently concluded market year partly to cover low stock caused by drought, and COVID-related disruptions in imports during the first quarter of 2020. China booked substantial orders for corn and soybeans from September 2020 onwards for the 2020-2021market year but is moderating orders now for the current market year. Reports on volumes of commodities exported to China and other nations are included in weekly editions of CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS as USDA data is released.



The completed corn harvest for 2021 documented in the December 2021 WASDE Report is 15,062 million bushels, unchanged from November. The 2021 harvest can be compared to 14,507 million bushels in 2020 and is 0.6 percent lower than the previous 2016 record harvest of 15,148 million bushels. The “Feed and Residual” category was unchanged from the November report at 5,650 million bushels. The “Ethanol and Byproducts” category was held at 5,250 million bushels consistent with current domestic demand for E-10 and other blends following relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. Projected corn exports were held at 2,500 million bushels despite recent shipments to China and Mexico. Ending stocks were unchanged with a projection of 1,493 million bushels.


Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane