Share via Email

* Email To: (Separate multiple addresses with a semicolon)
* Your Name:
* Email From: (Your IP Address is
* Email Subject: (personalize your subject)

Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Meat Exports


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-March 2023.



Total exports of bone-in broiler parts and feet during January-March 2023 attained 935,942 metric tons, 0.3 percent more than in January-March 2022 (933,542 metric tons). Total value of broiler exports declined by 5.6 percent to $1,149 million ($1,213 million).


Total export volume of turkey products during January-March 2023 attained 38,373 metric tons, 21.3 percent less than in January-March 2022 (48,730 metric tons). Total value of turkey exports declined by 19.6 percent to $130.7 million ($163.0 million).


Unit price for the broiler industry is constrained by the fact that leg quarters comprise over 97 percent of broiler meat exports by volume (excluding feet). From the first quarter of 2021 through 2022, unit value of leg quarters increased consistent with international demand but with a decline in 2023. Leg quarters represent a relatively low-value undifferentiated 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.


Ongoing outbreaks of African swine fever in China and Southeast Asia from early 2019 onwards reduced availability of pork. Disruptions in chicken production and logistics due to COVID restrictions decreased availability of protein with international repercussions on trade in chicken and pork. The demand for pork imports to China has diminished as hog production was restored and mild overproduction is evident in the white-feathered broiler sector with implications for exports other than feet during the remainder of 2033.



During January-March 2023 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 940,882 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $1,167 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,248 per metric ton.


The NCC breakdown of chicken exports for January-March 2023 by proportion and unit price for each category compared with the corresponding months in 2022 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-


  • Chicken parts 4%; Unit value $1,182 per metric ton ($1,260)
  • Prepared chicken 9%; Unit value $4,245 per metric ton ($3,572)
  • Whole chicken 7%; Unit value $1,578 per metric ton ($1,159) 


The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports in January-March 2023 compared with the corresponding 1st quarter of 2022:-




Jan.-March 2022


Jan.-March 2023



Broiler Meat & Feet


Volume (metric tons)



+2,400 (+0.3%)

Value ($ millions)



-64 (-5.3%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



-71 (-5.5%)

Turkey Meat


Volume (metric tons)



-10,357 (-21.2%)

Value ($ millions)



-32 (-19.6%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



+68 (+2.0%)





Total broiler parts, predominantly leg quarters but including feet, exported during January-March 2023 as compared with January-March 2022 increased by 0.3 percent in volume but declined 5.3 percent in value. Unit value was 5.5 percent lower at $1,228 per metric ton.


During March exports attained 313,468 metric tons, down 5.2 percent in volume and down 8.2 in value percent compared to March 2022. Unit price was down 3.2 percent to $1,228 per metric ton


Broiler imports in 2022 were projected to attain 80,200 metric tons (176 million lbs.) falling to 72,000 metric tons (160 million lbs.) in 2023.


The top five importers of broiler meat represented 51.3 percent of shipments during January-March 2023. The top ten importers comprised 66.5 percent of the total volume reflecting concentration among the significant importing nations.


During January-February 2023 exports of all broiler products to first-ranked (by value) China were 21.1 percent lower by volume to 122,969 metric tons and 29.4 percent lower by value at $198.8 million compared to January-March 2022. Volume and value of exports to China represented 13.1 percent and 17.3 percent respectively with an average unit price of $1,617 per metric ton. The U.S. average price during January-March 2023 excluding China was $1,265 demonstrating the weighting of feet on export value.


The average unit price for all exports to China in 2022 was $1,747 per ton compared with $1,376 per ton for all exports, but excluding China, $1,397 per ton.


During March 2023 exports to China were down 17.2 percent in volume to 44,558 metric tons and down 26.7 percent in value to $71.5 million compared to January-March 2022.


According to USDA statistics during 2022 feet accounted for 77.7 percent of volume at 483,538 metric tons, valued at $931 million with a unit price of $1,925 per metric ton. Other broiler products exported to China during 2022 included legs and leg quarters at 17.0 percent of volume with a unit price of $901 per ton. Due to HPAI restrictions monthly volumes of feet have declined by double digits on a Y-O-Y comparison. The USAPEEC note that 37 states with 444 of 577 approved plants and cold storage installations were ineligible to export to China. Other products shipped to China including wings and edible giblets comprising 5.3 percent of volume and 5.5 percent of value at a unit price of $2,862 per metric ton.


During January-March 2023 Mexico was the first-ranked importer by volume with 184,729 metric tons representing 19.7 percent of export volume up 15.2 percent from January-March 2022. Value at $193 million was 16.8 percent of the total for exported broiler products during January-March 2023 and up 4.3 percent from January-March 2022, with a 9.4 percent decline in unit price to $1,045 per metric ton. During March 2023 volume was up 5.5 percent to 61,637 metric tons and value was up 3.3 percent to $68.6 million.


During January-March 2023 nations gaining in volume compared to the corresponding period in 2022 (with the percentage change indicated) in descending order of volume were:-


Mexico, (+4%); Taiwan, (+36%); Viet Nam, (+31%); Congo-Brazzaville, (+19%); UAE, (+20%); Ghana, (+26%); Georgia, (+37%) and Iraq, (+135%).


Losses during January-March 2023 offset gains in exports with declines for:-

China, (-30%); Cuba, (-4%); Guatemala, (-17%) and Canada, (-6%); Angola, (-10%); Philippines, (-25%) and Haiti, (-14%)



The volume of turkey meat exported during January-March 2023 decreased by 21.2 percent to 48,730 metric tons from January-March 2022 and value fell by 19.6 percent to $130.7 million compared to January-March 2022. Average unit value increased by 2.0 percent from $3,365 per metric ton to $3,413 per metric ton. Imports of turkey products are projected to rise to 38,640 metric tons in 2023.


During March 2023 volume declined by 12.1 percent to 14,969 metric tons and value was down 6.0 percent to $50.4 million


For the entire year of 2022 export volume declined by 25.6 percent to 184,537 metric tons compared to 2021 and value fell by 3.6 percent to $642 million reflecting a 1.4 percent decrease in unit value to $3,473 per metric ton.


Mexico was the leading importer of turkey products over the first quarter of 2023 with 27,432 metric tons representing 71.4 percent of total volume of 38,373 metric tons. Value was 74.2 percent of the total of $130.7 million with a unit price of $4,774 per metric ton. Volume and value were respectively 20.6 percent and 17.8 percent lower than for the 1st quarter of 2022. Mexico was the leading importer of turkey products in March 2023 with 10,728 metric tons representing 71.7 percent of total volume of 14,969 metric tons. Value was 75.2 percent of the total of $50.4 million with a unit price of $3,533 per metric ton.


During January-March nations increasing volumes of purchases, albeit over a small base, compared to January-March 2022 comprised:-


Canada, (+28%); Jamaica, (+16%); Leeward and Windward Islands, (+61%) and Viet Nam, (+15%)



The May 19th 2023 Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, updated the projection for 2023 exports of broiler products to 3.350 million metric tons (7,383 million lbs.). This value represents 15.7 percent of the projected production of 21.385 million metric tons (47,048 million lb.) of broiler RTC by the U.S. industry.


For 2024 exports of broiler products were forecast at 3.441 million metric tons (7,570 million lbs.) equivalent to 15.8 percent of forecast annual production of 21.736 million metric tons (47,820 million lbs.)


Projected export of turkey products in 2023 will be 168,180 metric tons, (370 million lbs.) or 6.9 percent of annual production of 2.456 million metric tons (5,404 million lbs.).


For 2024 exports of turkey products were forecast at 177,273 metric tons (390 million lbs.) equivalent to 6.9 percent of forecast annual production of 2.564 million metric tons (5,640 million lbs.)


It is important to recognize that exports of chicken and turkey meat products to our USMCA partners amounted to $1,264 million in 2021 and $1,647 million during 2022. It will be necessary for all three parties to the USMCA to respect the terms of the agreement since punitive action against Mexico or Canada on issues unrelated to poultry products will result in reciprocal action by our trading partners to the possible detriment of U.S. agro-industries.


The emergence of H5N1strain avian influenza virus with a Eurasian genome in migratory waterfowl in all four Flyways during 2022 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 minimal extent in broilers. The probability of outbreaks of HPAI over succeeding weeks appears unlikely until late fall and will be a function of shedding by migratory and domestic birds and mammals. The extent of protection of commercial flocks at present relies on intensity and efficiency of biosecurity, representing investment in structural improvements and operational procedures. To date 3.2 million broilers on 18 farms in 7 states and in excess of 9.9 million turkeys on 231 farms in 7 states 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 supported 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. Most nations are now lifting embargos that were previously placed on entire states or counties as the WOAH (OIE) mandated post-decontamination period expires. The emerging challenge will be to gain acceptance for vaccination coupled with surveillance. Recognition that H5N1 HPAI is pandemic in distribution across five continents and is now seasonally or regionally endemic in many nations with intensive poultry production, suggests that vaccination will have to be accepted among trading partners as an adjunct to control measures in accordance with WOAH policy.


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 and now some resident bird species, 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 © 2023 Simon M. Shane