Poultry Industry Statistics and Reports

Poultry Meat Projection


Updated USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Projection for February 2023.

On February 14th 2023 the USDA-Economic Research Service released updated production and consumption data with respect to broilers and turkeys, covering 2021 (actual), an update for 2022 and a projection for 2023.


Compared to 2021, broiler RTC production in 2022 was almost unchanged in the January 2023 report at 46,201 million lbs. RTC (21.001 million metric tons.). Per capita consumption in 2022 will be 3.4 percent higher compared to 2021 at 99.9 lbs. (45.4 kg.). Exports will represent 15.8 percent of RTC production in 2022 attaining 7,278 million lbs. (3.308 million metric tons) comprising RTC leg quarters, other products and feet.


The projection for 2023 is for 46,700 million lbs. (21.227 million metric tons) with a per capita consumption of 100.2 lbs. (45.5 kg.) and exports of 7,315 million lbs. (3.325 million metric tons).


Turkey production for 2022 compared to 2021 will be 6.0 percent lower at 5,222 million lbs. (2.374 million metric tons) RTC. The February 2023 projection for per capita consumption in 2022 was 4.6 percent lower than in 2021 at 14.6 lbs. (6.6 kg.), despite extensive promotions and introduction of further-processed items. Export volume for 2022 was reduced 25.6 percent to 408 million lbs. (0.185 million metric tons) from 2021. Values for production and consumption of RTC turkey for 2022 are considered to be realistic, given the prevailing economy, variable weekly poult placements, production levels, losses from HPAI and inventories.


The February 2023 USDA forecast for the turkey industry in 2023 comprised annual production of 5,560 million lbs. (2.527 million metric tons) with consumption of 15.9 lbs. (7.2 kg.) per capita.


Production values for the broiler and turkey segments of the U.S. poultry meat industry are tabulated below:-



2021 (actual)

2022 (update)

Difference % 2021 to 2022

2023 (projection)


Production (million lbs.)





Consumption (lbs. per capita)





Exports (million lbs.)





Proportion of production (%)






Production (million lbs.)





Consumption (lbs. per capita)





Exports (million lbs.)





Proportion of production (%)





Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released February 14th 2023


Export projections do not allow for a breakdown in trade relations with existing major partners including Mexico and China nor the impact of catastrophic diseases including HPAI and vvND in either the U.S. or importing nations


The projection takes into account declining exports to China, ranked second by volume in 2021 with imports of 460,159 metric tons valued at $864 million with a unit price of $1,875 per ton. Average unit price for U.S. broiler exports including parts and feet but excluding imports by China, the first-ranked importer attained $1,139 per metric ton during 2021. For 2022, China imported 622,099 tons of broiler products valued at $1,087 million including feet at an average unit price of $1,263 per ton. Feet represented 77.8 percent of volume over 2022 (483,538 metric tons) at a unit price of $1,926 per ton.


Subscribers are referred to the monthly update of production and cold storage inventories of broilers and turkeys and exports posted in each edition of CHICK-NEWS with the previous monthly data under the STATISTICS tab.


Broiler Month, January 2022


Monthly Broiler Production and Prices, January 28th 2022.


Chick Placements.

According to the January 18th USDA Broiler Hatchery Reports 1,196 million eggs were set over five weeks extending from December 17th 2022 through January 14th 2023.


Total placements for the U.S. over the five-week period amounted to 940 million chicks. Claimed hatchability for the period averaged 80.1 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier (80.2 percent for the preceding four-week period). 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 8th 2022 through December 31st amounted to 9.79 billion chicks, approximately two percent higher than the corresponding period in 2021.


Low chick placement during 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 was attributed to setting a proportion of hatching eggs with depressed fertility that were derived from high-yield breed combinations selected by some integrators. Additional breeder flocks were placed to compensate for reduced fertility and their contribution is reflected in broilers harvested during the third quarter of 2022 onwards.


According to the January 20th 2023 edition of USDA Chickens and Eggs pullet breeder chicks placed during December amounted to 10.5 million down 0.6 percent (65,000 pullet chicks) from December 2021 but 1.45 million chicks or 16.0 percent higher than the previous month of November 2022. Broiler breeder hen complement attained 62.6 million in December 2022, higher than December 2021 by 56,000 hens (<0.1 percent).


Broiler Production


According to the new-format January 27th USDA Broiler Market News Report for the processing week ending January 21st 2022, 160.1 million broilers were processed at 6.35 lbs. live. This was 5.9 percent less than the 170.2 million broilers processed during the corresponding week in the previous month of December 2022 and 3.6 percent more than the 154.5 million processed during the corresponding week in December 2021. Broilers processed in 2023 to date amounted to 494 million, 1.1 percent more than for the corresponding period in 2022.


U.S. Meat Exports


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-November 2022.


Total exports of bone-in broiler parts and feet for the first eleven months of 2022 attained 3,490,748 metric tons, 5.5 percent more than during the corresponding months in 2021 (3,308,924 metric tons). Total value of exports increased by 19.0 percent to $4,843 million ($4,069 million 2021).


Unit price is constrained by the fact that leg quarters comprise over 96 percent of broiler meat exports by volume (excluding feet). From the first quarter of 2021 to date unit value of leg quarters has increased consistent with international demand. Despite the recent increase in unit price for exports, 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.


During January-November 2022 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 3,518,483 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $4,923 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,399 per metric ton, 12.5 percent higher in unit value than for January-November 2021 ($1,244 per metric ton).


The NCC breakdown of chicken exports during January-November 2022 by proportion and unit price for each broiler category compared with the corresponding months in 2021 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-


  • Chicken parts 1%; Unit value $1,346 per metric ton ($1,183)
  • Prepared chicken 0%; Unit value $3,919 per metric ton ($2,911)
  • Whole chicken 9%; Unit value $1,460 per metric ton ($1,417) 


Turkey Month, January 2022


Monthly Turkey Production and Prices, January 28th 2022


Poult Production and Placement:


The January 13th 2022 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 27.03 million eggs in incubators on January 1st 2022 compared to 26.86 million eggs on January 1st 2022* The January set was up 0.7 percent (178,000 eggs) from January 2021 and 437,000 eggs (1.6 percent) higher than the previous month of December 2022.


A total of 22.94 million poults were hatched during December 2022 up 640,000 poults (2.9 percent) compared to 22.30 million in December 2021*. The December 2022 hatch was up 324,000 poults (1.4 percent) from the previous month of November 2022.


A total of 21.00 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in December 2022, compared to 20.31 million in December 2021*. The December placement was 2.8 percent, (690,000 poults) more than the month of December 2021. This data confirms disposal of 1.94 million poults during the month. Approximately 8.5 percent of the December 2022 hatch was not placed.


For the twelve-month period January 2021 through December 2022 inclusive, 272,544 million poults were hatched and 253,920 million were placed. This confirms disposal of 18.62 million poults over the 12-month period, corresponding to 6.8 percent of all poults hatched.

* USDA revision from previous monthly report.


USDA Export Projections For Chicken


Based on the August 12th, 2022 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA has projected chicken exports for 2022 with a forecast for 2023.


Broiler meat exports will amount to 3.3 million metric tons in 2022 valued at $4.2 billion.  For 2023, volume and value will be unchanged, representing a unit price excluding feet, which are not federally inspected, at $1,272 per metric ton.


The 2023 exports of all agricultural products will amount to $193.5 billion in 2023, balanced by imports of $197.0 billion resulting in a negative annual balance of $3.5 billion.


Pilgrim’s Pride Reports on Q4 and FY 2021


In a press release dated February 9th Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC) announced results for the 4th Quarter and FY 2021 ending December 26th 2022.      


The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS)


4th Quarter Ending

Dec 26th 2021

Dec. 27th 2020

Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Pre-tax Income

Net Income







Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)




Operating Margin (%)




Profit Margin (%)




Long-term Debt:




12 Months Trailing:




           Return on Assets    (%)




           Return on Equity    (%)




           Operating Margin   (%)




           Profit Margin          (%)




Total Assets




Market Capitalization





For FY 2021 Pilgrim’s Pride earned $31.0 million on revenue of $14,778 million with a diluted EPS of $0.13.

For FY 2020 Pilgrim’s Pride earned $94.8 million on revenue of $12,091 million with a diluted EPS of $0.38


In reviewing the contribution of geographic segments for FY 2021:-
The U.S generated 61 percent of sales and 68 percent of earnings

The E.U. generated 28 percent of sales and 12 percent of earnings

Mexico generated 11 percent of sales and 20 percent of earnings


52-Week Range in Share Price:  $20.32 to $29.70 with a 50-day Moving average  $27.99

Market            Close Tuesday 8th February $28.97. Closed Wednesday 9th February, post-release almost unchanged at $28.95

Forward P/E 11.2              Beta1.1


In commenting on Q4 and FY 2021 results Fabio Sandri CEO stated, “The Pilgrim’s Pride team was relentless in the face of input cost inflation and volatility, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and a global pandemic. They managed through these challenges to deliver a strong performance in the fourth quarter and the fiscal year.”  He added “By staying focused on our Key Customer strategy, on the safety of our employees and on producing high-quality food products, our diversified portfolio delivered improved results over last year as well as 2019 pre-COVID baselines”.


In reviewing the U.S. business Sandri stated “Strong U.S. consumer demand for chicken supported fresh meat pricing throughout 2021, and we expect this pricing environment to continue into the near future with the USDA projecting supply growth of only 1.6% for 2022. Chicken remains a great value relative to the other major proteins, and we continue to grow and improve our portfolio in partnerships with Key Customers and to grow our Prepared Foods business while supporting our differentiated Pilgrim’s® and Just Bare® brands within retail and e-commerce.


Sandri noted “Our business in Mexico dealt with elevated feed grain pricing for much of the year but executed well and delivered results surpassing last year with Fresh and Prepared Foods offerings in our Pilgrim’s®, Del Dia® and Alamesa® brands”.


In relation to E.U. hog and chicken businesses Sandri explained “Our legacy European businesses faced rising input costs and overall inflation, labor disruptions due to Brexit and very challenging market conditions. Through continued execution of our operational excellence strategy and pricing model actions, we are confident in our legacy UK businesses returning to expected results. At the end of September, we welcomed Pilgrim’s Food Masters with its value-added branded products that strengthened our portfolio in Europe and created a differentiated platform for growth”.


Sandri concluded “Overall, I am extremely pleased with our team members and the execution of our strategy under difficult conditions. We are committed to being the best and most respected company in our industry, and we will continue to perform to the best of our ability to serve our Key Customers and create a better future for our team members.”


Holding company JBS S.A. holds 80.8 percent of the equity of PPC and is bidding for the remainder of which 17.5 percent is owned by institutional investors.


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.


Copyright © 2023 Simon M. Shane