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.
Combined export value of US poultry meat and eggs reached $5.722 billion in 2012, 12% 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.”
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.)
“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 Vietnam, were more than offset by increased sales to markets such as Mexico, Russia, Angola, Congo, Kazakhstan and Ghana.
Top broiler markets
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%, respectively; Hong Kong, 296,085 tons valued at $396.2 million, down 46 and 47%; Russia, 266,995 tons valued at $301.7 million, up 25 and 23%; China, 239,897 tons valued at $283 million, up 149 and 137%; Angola, 182,027 tons valued at $214.4 million, up 11 and 18%; and Canada, 173,037 tons valued at $498.8 million, up 22 and 32%.
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% over 2011, while quantity hit 4.1 million metric tons, up 5%. The quantity record was 0.6% 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% from 2011, respectively.
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 4 and 15% from 2011. Compared to the previous record set in 2008, US broiler meat export quantity for 2012 increased by about 1%, while value rose by 17%.
Exports of chicken paws in 2012 reached 363,974 tons, an increase of 5% from the previous year, while export value was $450.1 million, down 10% from 2011. Of those exports, 53% went to Hong Kong, and 40% went to China.
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%, respectively.
The top US turkey markets are Mexico, 187,201 tons valued at $371.8 million, up 3 and 4%, respectively; China, 45,910 tons valued at $70.7 million, up 22 and 32%; the Philippines, 14,379 tons valued at $12.9 million, up 167 and 123%; Canada, 14,150 tons valued at $31.4 million, up 38 and 29%; and Hong Kong, 12,063 tons valued at $20.7 million, down 30 and 17%.
For table eggs, exports in 2012 were 127.6 million dozen valued at $122.6 million, up 54 and 59%, 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%; Canada, 26.1 million dozen, up 19%; Mexico, 16.6 million dozen vs. 1.3 million dozen in 2011; the UAE, 13 million dozen, up 66%; 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% to $141 million.
Export value to Japan, the top export market for US egg products, decreased by 28% to $45.1 million, accounting for 32% of US total export value worldwide. Export value to the EU rose by 88% to $38.3 million, while sales to Mexico increased six-fold to $16.5 million. Exports to Canada increased 18% to $9.6 million, while exports to South Korea dipped by 7% 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% from the previous year, export value reached $263.7 million, up 35% from 2011.