Poultry Industry News, Comments & More

Broiler Month


Monthly Broiler Production and Prices, November 27th 2023.


Broiler Chick Placements.

According to the November 15th 2023 USDA Broiler Hatchery Reports 911,074 eggs were set over four weeks extending from week ending October 21st through November 11th inclusive. This quantity was down approximately three percent compared to the corresponding period in 2022.


Total chick placements for the U.S. over the four-week period amounted to 710,575 chicks. Claimed hatchability for the period averaged 80.3 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier (80.6 percent for the preceding four-week period). Each 1.0 percent change in hatchability represents 1.75 million chicks placed per week and 1.66 million broilers processed assuming five percent culls and mortality with the current range of weekly settings.


Cumulative chick placements for the period January 7th 2023 through November 11th amounted to 8.37 billion chicks, one percent lower than the corresponding period in 2022.


According to the November 20th 2023 edition of USDA Chickens and Eggs pullet breeder chicks hatched and intended for U.S. placement during October 2023 amounted to 7.73 million, up 6.0 percent (435,000 pullet chicks) from October 2022 and 1.17 million pullet chicks or 13.6 percent less than the previous month of September 2023. Broiler breeder hen complement attained 63.38 million on October 1st 2023, 0.9 percent higher (571,000 hens) than on October 1st 2022.


Broiler Production


As documented in the November 23rd USDA Broiler Market News Report for the processing week ending November 18th 2023, 166.8 million broilers were processed at 6.49 lbs. live. This was 0.3 percent more than the 166.3 million broilers processed during the corresponding week in the previous month of October 2023 and 4.2 percent less than the 174.1` million processed during the corresponding week in November2022. Broilers processed in 2023 to date amounted to 7.67 billion, less than 0.3 percent less than for the corresponding period in 2022.


Ready to cook (RTC) weight for the most recent week was 822.6 million lbs. (373,923 metric tons). This was 0.6 percent less than the 827.7 million lbs. processed during the corresponding week in October 2023 and 4.1 percent less than the 857.6 million lbs. during the corresponding week in October 2022. Dressing percentage was a nominal 76.0 percent. For 2023 to date RTC broiler production attained 37.24 million lbs. (16.93 million metric tons). This quantity was 0.4 percent less than the corresponding period in 2022.


Broiler Prices


The USDA National Composite Weighted Wholesale price averaged over the period November 20th to November 24th was up 0.5 cents per lb. or 0.4 percent compared to the corresponding week in October 2023 at 113.7 cents per lb. The attached USDA figures denotes average prices over three-years.


Leading QSRs are using increasing quantities of breast meat for sandwiches, strips and nuggets. Inflation is increasing consumer awareness of value with chicken benefitting at the expense of beef and pork


The USDA National benchmark prices in cents per lb. (rounded to nearest cent) are tabulated from the new version of the Broiler Market News Report.



USDA Oct. 20th




Nov. 24th













B/S Breast




Whole Breasts




B/S Thighs




Whole Thighs








Leg Quarters




Wings (whole)





The USDA posted live-weight data for the past week ending November 24th and YTD 2023 were:-

Live Weight Range (lbs.)





Proportion past week (%)





Change from 2020 YTD (%)





During the week ending November 18th 2023 broilers for QSR and food service (live, 3.6 lb. to 4.3 lb.) represented 16 percent of processed volume compared to 18 percent during the corresponding week in October 2023.


On November 22nd 2023 cold storage holdings of processed poultry other than chicken at selected centers amounted to 81,663 lbs. 3.3 percent more than the inventory of 79,073 lbs. on November 1st 2023.


According to the November 22nd 2023 USDA Cold Storage Report, issued monthly, stocks of broiler products as of October 31st 2023 compared to October 31st 2022 showed differences with respect to the following categories:-

  • Total Chicken category attained 857.5 million lbs. (389,786 metric tons) corresponding to approximately 1.3 weeks production based on October 2023 weekly RTC output. The October 31st 2023 inventory was down 3.8 percent compared to 891.2 million lbs. (405,109 metric tons) on October 31st 2022 but down 3.2 percent from the previous month of September.
  • LegQuarters were down by 34.7 percent to 67.1 million lbs. compared to October 31st 2022 consistent with the data on exports. Inventory was up 7.1 percent from September 30th Given the trend in inventory of leg quarters it is evident that this category continues to be shipped in varying quantities as the principal (97 percent) chicken export product to a number of nations but with approximately 30 percent of this category comprising shipments to China.
  • The Breasts and Breast Meat category was up 6.3 percent from October 31st 2022 to 236.3 million lbs. indicating a reduced level of domestic consumer demand from retail as influenced by consumer concern over inflation. October 31st 2023 stocks were 2.5 percent higher than on September 30th 2023 suggesting lower retail and food service demand for this category despite promotion of chicken sandwiches by QSRs in the face of an increased pattern of eat-at-home consumption.
  • Total inventory of dark meat (drumsticks legs and thighs, excluding leg quarters) increased 5.6 percent from October 31st 2022 to 57.7 million lbs. This increase is despite an evident increase in domestic demand for lower priced dark meat at the expense of white meat.
  • Wings showed a 23.3 percent decrease from October 31st 2022, contributing to a stock of 62.9 million lbs. This category was 3.7 percent higher than on September 30th Movement in stock over the past 12 months has demonstrated growth in demand for this category. Sales are impacted by competition from “boneless wings.” Increased consumption traditionally associated with significant sports events reduced volume in storage earlier in 2023 hence the progressive increase in unit price from the first quarter onwards.
  • The inventory of Paws and Feet was 23.8 percent lower than on October 31st 2022 to 28.9 million lbs. but inventory was 5.3 percent higher than on September 30th Prior to the April 2020 Phase 1 Trade Agreement 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 during 2022, a total of 483,538 metric tons of paws and feet representing 77.7 percent of broiler exports to China were valued at $931 million with a unit price of $1,925 per metric ton.
  • The Other category comprising 364.6 million lbs. on October 31st 2023 was up 4.8 percent from October 31st 2022 but represented a significant 42.5 percent of inventory. The high proportion in the Other category suggests further classification or re-allocation by USDA to the designated major categories.


October 2023 Production


The USDA Poultry Slaughter Report released on November 20th covering October 2023 comprised 21 working days. The following values were documented for the month:-

  • A total of 823.5 million broilers were processed in October, up 1.7 percent from October 2022;
  • Total live weight in October was 5.52 million lbs., up 2.5 percent from October 2022;
  • Unit live weight was 6.70 lbs., up 0.06 lb. or 0.9 percent from October 2022.
  • RTC in October attained 4,169 million lbs., up 2.5 percent from October 2022.
  • WOG yield in October was 75.6 percent, up from 75.0 percent in October 2022.
  • The proportion marketed as chilled in October 2023 comprised 93.0 percent of RTC output.
  • Ante-mortem condemnation as a proportion of live weight attained 0.18 percent during October 2023 compared to 0.19 percent in October 2022.
  • Post-mortem condemnations as a proportion of processed mass corresponded to 0.40 percent during October 2023 compared to 0.46 percent in October 2022.




For 2022 exports of broiler parts and feet combined attained a volume of 3,792,380 metric tons (3,624,657 metric tons in 2021) with a value of $5,218 million ($4,460 million in 2021). Unit value increased 11.9 percent from 2021 to $1,376 per metric ton (including feet) from $1,230.


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 will affect exports from states with outbreaks in commercial flocks. The response of China, Japan and some other nations is more predictable with bans on a statewide basis. The response by China to outbreaks is influenced more by self-interest than considerations of scientific fact or international trade obligations. Other importing nations have confined restrictions to counties following the WOAH principle of regionalization.


Collectively our NAFTA/USMCA neighbors imported broiler products to the value of $901 million for 2019, $864 million in 2020 and $1,175 million in 2021. For 2022 broiler export value attained $1,256 million.


The USDA October projection for RTC broiler production in 2023 will be 46,209 million lbs. with a per capita consumption of 99.2 lbs. Exports amounting to 7,180 million lbs. will represent 15.5 percent of production. The forecast for RTC broiler production in 2024 will be 46,650 million lbs. with a per capita consumption of 98.4 lbs. Exports amounting to 7,270 million lbs. will represent 15.6 percent of production.


Effective mid-April 2023 total losses due to HPAI amounted to 3.0 million broilers on 18 farms in seven states. A total of 330,000 broiler breeders were depopulated on eleven farms in six states. With the fall re-emergence of HPAI losses have attained 198,000 broilers in MD., 163,000 among two farms in OR. and 63,000 breeders in TN.

Copyright © 2024 Simon M. Shane