KANSAS CITY, Mo. – While the US exports more than 7 billion lbs. of chicken per year — plus feet and paws, which the US Department of Agriculture doesn’t include — chicken imports into the US total less than 100 million lbs. a year.

“The US imports a little from Canada. And Chile sends a somewhat limited amount of boneless, skinless breast meat here. Chicken imports to the US have been between 50 to 100 million lbs. for the last few years. I don’t see any real big changes in imports [in the near future],” said Bill Roenigk, senior vice president of the National Chicken Council.

Meanwhile, from January-October 2011, a total of 17,259,271 lbs. of turkey was imported to the US. Currently, the forecast for turkey imports to the US in 2012 is for 20 million lbs., very close to what was expected in 2011, a USDA Economic Research Service spokesman told MEATPOULTRY.com. Most turkey imports enter the US as either fresh or frozen parts or offal.

“The number of countries importing turkey parts to the US is very small,” he added. “In 2010, all imports of fresh or chilled turkey parts were from Canada. For the frozen turkey parts, in 2010 Canada accounted for 78 percent, Chile accounted for 19 percent and the remaining 3 percent were from Israel.”