Information on global poultry, pig and animal feed markets.

All Things Poultry

Gary Thornton shares his thoughts on the US poultry industry. Thornton discusses legislation, trends, food safety issues and more relating to the poultry and meat industries in the US.

Turning chicken’s foodservice challenges into opportunities

Chicken’s share of the menu at foodservice restaurants is 45 percent – far and away the greatest among meat proteins – but there’s room to grow that share ... if marketers exploit key disconnects between foodservice operators’ perceptions and consumer behavior. According to a survey of 388 foodservice operators, chicken’s average share of entrees and appetizers that feature meat proteins is 35 percent for white-meat chicken and 10 percent for dark-meat chicken. Compare those shares to 27 percent for beef, 13 percent for seafood/fish, 13 percent for pork and 2 percent for lamb.
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Ethanol production that poultry producers have been praying for

A process is available that would cleanly and efficiently convert natural gas to ethanol, while potentially redirecting the use of arable land to produce food rather than fuel. You know about the U.S. federal government’s “all of the above” energy policy to bring new fuel sources to the U.S. marketplace but that doesn’t include fossil fuels because they compete with wind, algae, corn and other favored industries. So, you won’t be surprised to learn that a Dallas-based chemicals company is ready to produce ethanol for fuel from abundantly available natural gas – at lower costs than the corn-ethanol industry is able to produce its fuel – but is blocked by existing law from doing so. 
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US chicken industry poised for profits in 2012

The U.S. chicken industry is poised for a return to profitability in 2012, after 14 months (and counting) of financial losses brought on by high grain costs and weak consumer demand. The industry is working its way back to profits by cutting egg sets and pullet placements.
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Chicken industry panel says innovation must continue in downturn

The timing is opportune for the chicken industry to gain domestic market share from beef and pork with product innovation, says a panel of chicken industry executives. Four chicken industry executives at the National Chicken Council 57th Annual Conference said the industry cannot afford to let up on innovation and wait for an improved economy and more sustainable production costs to innovate and address new consumer needs.
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Corn outlook leads to conflicting price forecasts for 2011/12

The immediate economic certainty for poultry companies is that corn supplies remain tight, even with larger than expected beginning stocks for the 2011/12 crop year. The October 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates raised beginning corn stocks by 208 million bushels to 1.128 billion bushels. And while the WASDE forecast for ending stocks was raised by 194 million bushels to 866 million with reduced exports, that level of ending stocks is equivalent to only 25 days of use – below the 30 days considered by analysts to be a safe level.
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Has the US poultry industry turned the corner on high feed costs?

Corn futures for delivery in December reached a high near $7.80 a bushel in late August, while the price September 20 is closer to $7.05, despite USDA’s September 12 downward revision in the corn production forecast. Will the U.S. poultry industry look back a year from now and be able to say this was the turning point on $7-a-bushel corn prices?
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Sanderson Farms CEO foresees deeper cuts ahead for chicken industry

With no relief in sight from high corn prices and continued weak consumer demand for chicken, Sanderson Farms reported a net loss of $55.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, while predicting that a new round of industry production cuts would be needed this fall. The company will cut production and raise growers' pay to offset cash flow reductions from fewer birds being raised on farms.
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