Poultry, egg exports set records in 2014

by Erica Shaffer
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STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – US poultry and egg exports delivered a record-setting performance in 2014 despite getting shut out of the Russian market, the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) reported.

Exports of US poultry in 2014 reached 4.1 million metric tons, up 0.4 percent over 2013, while the value of poultry exports slipped 0.3 percent to $5.501 billion, according to year-end trade data from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

USAPEEC noted that 2014 was a record year for exports of eggs. Combined exports of table eggs and processed egg products, measured in shell-egg equivalents, advanced 1 percent to 352.7 million dozen, while their value climbed 0.4 percent to $336.75 million.

The combined value of US poultry and egg exports was $5.838 billion, down 0.2 percent. USAPEEC said the figure was within less than one percentage point of the previous record set in 2013.

“This record year demonstrates that the US industry has become much more diversified and is no longer dependent on one or two export markets,” said Jim Sumner, president of USAPEEC, which promotes US poultry and egg exports through its network of 14 international offices. “Only a few years ago, losing a market like Russia would have been devastating. Now, it barely caused a ripple.”

US broiler meat exports (excluding chicken paws) declined 0.6 percent to 3.3 million tons, while value dropped 4 percent to $4.063 billion. Top markets in 2014 included Mexico, up 9 percent to 696,230 tons; Russia, down 48 percent to 143,942 tons, because of the country's embargo; Angola, up 12 percent to 231,717 tons; and Canada, down 4 percent to 162,699 tons.

Other key broiler markets in 2014 were Cuba, 143,582 tons, up 3 percent; Iraq (including transshipments via Turkey), 147,774 tons, down 10 percent; China, 117,887 tons, down 10 percent; Taiwan, 115,407 tons, up 20 percent; Hong Kong, 105,445 tons, up 47 percent; and Georgia, 87,368 tons, up 1 percent.

Exports of US chicken paws reached 312,851 tons with a value of $441.9 million, up 4 and 19 percent, respectively. Hong Kong accounted for 72 percent of total shipments of paws, while China accounted for 25 percent. Paw exports to Hong Kong soared 122 percent and shipments to China dropped 48 percent.
US turkey exports in 2014 were the second-highest ever, climbing 6 percent to 364,915 tons, surpassing the 2012 record. Export value set a new benchmark, up 11 percent to $766.8 million.

The top five markets for US turkey captured 77 percent of total export shipments of turkey in 2014. The top five markets were Mexico, China, Canada, Benin and Hong Kong. Mexico alone accounted for 63 percent.

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