STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – US poultry meat and total egg exports set records during the first half of 2012, according to the US Poultry & Egg Export Council.

A sharp rise in shipments to Mexico, Russia and other key markets drove US poultry meat exports for the first half of 2012. Chicken, turkey and duck exports for January through June climbed 12 percent to surpass 1.9 million metric tons with a value of $2.6 billion, an increase of 22 percent.

Exports surged to key markets such as Russia, Cuba, Angola, Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, while shipments to Canada, Iraq, China, and Afghanistan showed significant growth, according to the council. First-half cumulative broiler exports (excluding paws) advanced 13 percent to 1.6 million metric tons, while value increased by 28 percent to more than $2 billion compared to the same period in 2011, both of which are year-on-year records.

Total poultry meat exports in June increased 8 percent to 323,034 tons with a value of $427 million, up 15 percent from the same period in 2011. Export value was the highest ever recorded for June, the council said.

June exports of broiler meat (excluding chicken paws) totaled 269,129 tons, 12 percent above the June 2011, while export value climbed more than $340 million, up 25 percent year-over-year.

First-half broiler exports to Mexico grew 18 percent to 264,072 tons, while shipments to Russia jumped 164 percent to 130,542 tons. Exports to Cuba totaled 80,421 tons, up 233 percent, while shipments to Angola were 79,498 tons, an increase of 39 percent.

Exports to other included Canada, 78,745 tons, up 21 percent; Taiwan, 67,851 tons, up 13 percent; Hong Kong, 65,869 tons, up 38 percent; Iraq (including transshipments via Turkey), 64,027 tons, up 7 percent; Kazakhstan, 54,030 tons, up more than five-fold year-on-year; and China, 39,547 tons, up 61 percent.

June exports of chicken paws declined 26 percent to 21,965 tons with a value of $27 million, down 37 percent from June 2011. Shipments to China increased by 287 percent to 12,173 metric tons, while exports to Hong Kong declined 63 percent to 9,518 tons.

Cumulative exports of chicken paws for the first half were 185,484 tons, up 12 percent year-on-year. Export value set a year-on-year record at $247 million, up 1 percent from the comparable period in 2011. Of total paw shipments, 77 percent or 142,213 tons were shipped to Hong Kong, and 21 percent or 39,073 tons went to mainland China.

Including paws, total broiler exports for the first half set year-on-year quantity and value records, according to the council. Export quantity reached 1.8 million tons valued at $2.3 billion, growing 13 and 24 percent from the same period in 2011, respectively. Of the total exports, almost 43 percent or 762,627 tons were shipped to Mexico, Hong Kong, Russia, Cuba, and Angola.

June turkey exports climbed 10 percent to 26,637 tons with a value of $48.5 million, up 7 percent from June 2011. Increased shipments to the Philippines, Congo (Brazzaville), Taiwan, Canada, Japan, Haiti, Russia, and Mexico were the main drivers. Both quantity and value set records for June.

Cumulative first-half turkey exports climbed 11 percent to 165,820 tons with a value of $316 million, up 20 percent from 2011. Both were year-on-year records.

Exports to Mexico, the top market for US turkey, were 89,976 tons, up 5 percent. Export values climed 10 percent to $182 million. Shipments to China, the second key market for US turkey, fell by 16 percent to 18,251 tons, while export value reached $30 million, up 27 percent.

Of the total exports, 78 percent or 129,404 tons were shipped to the top five markets — Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Canada, and the Philippines, with Mexico alone accounting for 54 percent.

June table eggs exports climbed 67 percent to about 10 million dozen valued at $8.1 million, up 54 percent due to larger shipments to Hong Kong and Angola.

First-half table egg exports reached 49.6 million dozen valued at $43.7 million, up 34 and 31 percent, respectively. Of the total, 79 percent or 39 million dozen were shipped to the top five export markets of Hong Kong, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas, and Angola.

June Exports of processed egg products reached $11.3 million, up 20 percent over June 2011. The value of shipments to the European Union increased by 42 percent to $3.7 million, largely because of the lingering egg deficit in the EU. The export value to Japan declined 8 percent to $3.7 million.

Cumulative export value of egg products in the first half of 2012 were $70 million, up 19 percent year-on-year. Exports to EU-27 states rose 120 percent to $26.7 million, accounting for 38 percent of US total exports worldwide. Exports to Japan dropped by 25 percent to $21.8 million, accounting for 31 percent of US total exports worldwide. While export value to South Korea decreased 24 percent year-on-year, export value to Canada and Mexico increased by 14 and 121 percent, respectively.

Total egg exports (table eggs plus egg products in shell egg equivalents) for the first half were increased 10 percent to 122 million dozen, with an export value of $102.7 million, up 11 percent from the same period of 2011. Both export quantity and export value set year-on-year records.