STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – US poultry exports set a new year-on-year record for value through the third quarter of 2012, according to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, citing data from the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The value of poultry exports reached $4.032 billion in the third quarter, while the volume of poultry exported was slightly lower than the all-time record set in 2008, according to FAS data. Exports of US poultry meat from January through September climbed 6 percent to 3.04 million metric tons, while the value of poultry exports advanced 14 percent from the comparable period in 2011.

Cumulative exports of broiler meat (excluding chicken paws) gained 6 percent to 2.4 million tons. The value of broiler meat reached $3.1 billion, an increase of 18 percent setting year-on-year records.

The top markets for US chicken were Mexico, 408,978 tons, up 21 percent; Russia, 206,923 tons; up 59 percent; Canada, 127,790 tons, up 23 percent; Angola, 123,135 tons, up 3 percent; and Cuba, 112,122 tons, up 82 percent, according to FAS data.

Exports of chicken paws through the third quarter reached 277,144 tons, an increase of 5 percent, while export value retreated 9 percent to $350.3 million, FAS said. Of the total paw shipments, 62 percent were shipped to Hong Kong, and 36 percent were sent to mainland China.

Exports of paws in September climbed 2 percent to 31,023 tons, while export value was $35.2 million, down 17 percent year on year. Shipments to Hong Kong reached 8,275 tons, a decline of 70 percent. Exports to mainland China increased to 21,719 tons.

Turkey exports reached 263,487 tons, an increase of 15 percent. The value of turkey exports also gained 15 percent to total $489.4 million. Export quantity and export value of turkey set year-on-year records, according to FAS.

Mexico was the top market for US turkeys. Volume increased 8 percent to 138,006 tons, while export value reached $271 million, an increase of 6 percent year on year. Shipments to China, the second most important market, climbed 10 percent to 33,561 tons, while export value reached $52.2 million, up 28 percent.

Of the total, 77 percent of US turkey exports went to the top five markets of Mexico, China, Canada, Philippines, and Hong Kong, according to FAS. Mexico alone accounted for 52 percent.