US Poultry and Egg Exports Break Records in 2012

US - Thanks in large part to the industry's ability to adapt to changing global marketplace dynamics, 2012 was a record-setting year for exports of US poultry meat and eggs.
calendar icon 15 February 2013
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Combined export value of US poultry meat and eggs reached $5.722 billion in 2012, 12 per cent ahead of 2011, the previous record year, according to year-end trade data released last week by the Foreign Agricultural Service.

"The global landscape is in a constant state of transition," said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). "While our traditional markets of Mexico and Russia remained at the top of the broiler markets, there were numerous changes, such as Angola and Taiwan moving into the top 10 broiler markets and Mexico growth as a market for eggs. The greatest benefit for our industry is a much greater balance than we've ever before realised."

Mr Sumner said the US industry, which for years depended on a few behemoths such as Russia and China for a majority of its export sales, is now much less dependent on singular markets as new markets have opened and sales expand to the ROW (the rest of the world).

Diversification in US poultry export markets between 2009 and 2012

"The only constant in the export marketplace is change," he said. "And fortunately, our industry is very good at adapting to these changes. In 2008, for example, we exported products to 109 countries. In 2012, we shipped to 121 countries."

For 2012, for example, double-digit declines in shipments of US chicken meat to several markets, including Korea and Viet Nam, were more than offset by increased sales to markets such as Mexico, Russia, Angola, Congo, Kazakhstan and Ghana.

The top six markets for US broiler meat exports for 2012 were Mexico, 560,544 tons valued at $641.2 million, up 23 and 42 per cent, respectively; Hong Kong, 296,085 tons valued at $396.2 million, down 46 and 47 per cent; Russia, 266,995 tons valued at $301.7 million, up 25 and 23 per cent; China, 239,897 tons valued at $283 million, up 149 and 137 per cent; Angola, 182,027 tons valued at $214.4 million, up 11 and 18 per cent; and Canada, 173,037 tons valued at $498.8 million, up 22 and 32 per cent.

Last year was also a record-setting year for total US poultry meat exports in both quantity and value. Export value of US poultry climbed to nearly $5.5 billion, 11 per cent over 2011, while quantity hit 4.1 million metric tons, up five per cent. The quantity record was 0.6 per cent higher than in 2008, the previous record year.

Meanwhile, 2012 US egg exports also reached record levels. Total exports (table eggs plus processed egg products in shell-egg equivalents) were 274.1 million dozen valued at $263.7 million, up 24 and 35 per cent from 2011, respectively.

Figure 1. US broiler (including paws) exports since 1990
(Source: USDA/FAS GATS database)

Broiler meat exports in 2012, excluding chicken paws, set records in both quantity and value, reaching 3.3 million tons valued at $4.2 billion, up respectively four and 15 per cent from 2011. Compared to the previous record set in 2008, US broiler meat export quantity for 2012 increased by about one per cent, while value rose by 17 per cent.

Exports of chicken paws in 2012 reached 363,974 tons, an increase of five per cent from the previous year, while export value was $450.1 million, down 10 per cent from 2011. Of those exports, 53 per cent went to Hong Kong, and 40 per cent went to China.

Figure 2. US turkey exports since 1990
(Source: USDA/FAS GATS database)

US turkey exports last year also reached record highs, with exports in 2012 climbing to 361,597 tons valued at $678.5 million, up 14 and 13 per cent, respectively.

The top US turkey markets are Mexico, 187,201 tons valued at $371.8 million, up three and four per cent, respectively; China, 45,910 tons valued at $70.7 million, up 22 and 32 per cent; the Philippines, 14,379 tons valued at $12.9 million, up 167 and 123 per cent; Canada, 14,150 tons valued at $31.4 million, up 38 and 29 per cent; and Hong Kong, 12,063 tons valued at $20.7 million, down 30 and 17 per cent.

Figure 3. US exports of table eggs and egg products (in shell-egg equivalents) since 1990
(Source: USDA/FAS GATS database)

For table eggs, exports in 2012 were 127.6 million dozen valued at $122.6 million, up 54 and 59 per cent, respectively - both records - and driven by increased shipments to Mexico, Hong Kong and the European Union.

The top five export markets for table eggs are Hong Kong, 46.7 million dozen, up 30 per cent; Canada, 26.1 million dozen, up 19 per cent; Mexico, 16.6 million dozen vs. 1.3 million dozen in 2011; the UAE, 13 million dozen, up 66 per cent; and the EU, 8.9 million dozen vs. 0.78 million dozen in 2011.

For egg products, 2012 was also a record-setting year, as total export value rose by 20 per cent to $141 million.

Export value to Japan, the top export market for US egg products, decreased by 28 per cent to $45.1 million, accounting for 32 per cent of US total export value worldwide. Export value to the EU rose by 88 per cent to $38.3 million, while sales to Mexico increased six-fold to $16.5 million. Exports to Canada increased 18 per cent to $9.6 million, while exports to South Korea dipped by seven per cent to $4.1 million.

Total egg exports (table eggs plus egg products in shell egg equivalent) in 2012 set records in both volume and value. While export quantity hit 274.1 million dozen, an increase of 24 per cent from the previous year, export value reached $263.7 million, up 35 per cent from 2011.

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