Record Exports from the US Last Year

US - Poultry meat and egg exports set an all-time record in 2008 at $5.05 billion.
calendar icon 19 February 2009
clock icon 5 minute read

Total export value of US poultry meat, table eggs, and processed egg products set an all-time record last year, reaching $4.7 billion, 25 per cent above 2007.

This makes the second consecutive year of record exports for the US. In 2007, poultry and egg exports increased by 41 per cent over 2006.

Also, for the first time, exports of all poultry and egg products in 2008 passed the $5 billion milestone. The total, which reached $5.05 billion, up 24 per cent over the previous year, includes non-food items such as live breeding stock, hatching eggs and feathers and down, according to trade data compiled by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

Broiler meat exports (excluding chicken paws) for 2008 set a new record in both quantity and value. Export quantity reached 3.2 million metric tons, up 18 per cent over 2007, while export value reached $3.5 billion, $777 million or 28 per cent ahead of the previous year, said Dr Renan Zhuang, director of economic analysis at the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC).

US turkey meat exports also established records in both volume and value in 2008. Total turkey meat exports last year reached 306,787 tons, up 24 per cent from 2007, in large part because of increased import demand by Mexico and China. Export value in 2008 soared to $481.9 million, an increase of 21 per cent from previous year, said Dr Zhuang, who analyzes US industry data for USAPEEC.

Broiler meat and chicken paws

For US broilers, exports have become increasingly less concentrated, said Dr Zhuang. Volume to the top three markets last year – Russia, China, and Mexico – totaled 1,464,625 tons. The combined share of broiler exports to the Big Three was 46 per cent in 2008, compared to 52 per cent a year earlier. While export volume to Russia for the year decreased by 4 per cent, volume to China and Mexico increased by 12 and 27 per cent, respectively.

Dr Zhuang said that monthly US broiler meat shipments to all destinations in 2008 increased year-on-year over 2007 in every month but November. Total broiler meat exports for the first half of 2008 were 1.5 million tons, up 20 per cent year-on-year. Exports for the second half of 2008 were 1.7 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent and an increase of 11 per cent from the first half of 2008.

Also, broiler meat export prices in the second half of 2008 increased about 6 per cent from the first half of 2008, even as the world economy entered into a severe economic downturn, Dr Zhuang said.

For chicken paws, US exports in 2008 reached 508,735 tons, an increase of 19 per cent from 2007. Export value reached $339.5 million, an increase of $68.1 million or 25 per cent over the previous year.

Of the total, 83 per cent of US paws exported were shipped to China, while 15 per cent were shipped to Hong Kong. That is, about 81 per cent of the chicken paws produced in the US were harvested for export to China in 2008, Dr Zhuang said. The increase in paw exports to China is partially because of the relatively lower export prices. While the average export price (unit value) for chicken paws in China increased by 6 per cent, the export price for other broiler meat products exported to China increased by 11 per cent.

Turkey meat

Exports of turkey meat to Mexico, the top market for US turkey, reached 162,545 tons, an increase of 19 per cent from the previous year. Meanwhile, US turkey exports to China, the second-leading destination, reached 38,838 tons, an increase of 78 per cent from 2007. Exports to Russia, the third-leading market, were 11,819 tons, down 15 per cent from a year earlier. Turkey exports to other markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Dominican Republic and Haiti also increased significantly.

Eggs and egg products

Although the combined export value of US table eggs and processed egg products in 2008 set a new record of $142.2 million, up 3 per cent from the previous year, export volume of table eggs, declined by 27 per cent, to 57.5 million dozen. Export value of table eggs dipped from $63.4 million in 2007 to $50.81 million in 2008, down 20 per cent.

Even though table egg exports to Canada increased by 42 per cent from 2007, exports to many other important markets, such as Hong Kong, decreased significantly.

For egg products, 2008 export value reached $91.4 million, an increase of $17.2 million or 23 per cent from the previous year. Exports to Japan, the top export market for US egg products, increased significantly from $25.27 million in 2007 to $38.07 million in 2008, an increase of 51 per cent.

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