November 2011 broiler shipments in the U.S. totaled more than 606.2 million pounds, a 9-percent drop from 2010 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The decline reflects large drops to Russia, Cuba and Angola, but some major markets including Iraq, China and South Korea partly offset the decline. When comparing broiler shipments in November 2011 to those shipped in November 2010, shipments to Iraq increased by 300 percent, while shipments to China and South Korea increased 140 percent and 81 percent, respectively, over the same period.

Although November 2011 exports were down from 2010, broiler exports are expected to remain relatively strong. From September through December 2011, the average legquarter price (wholesale price in the Northeast) has ranged from 51.9 cents to 53.1 cents per pound, which likely indicates continued strong export demand. Because broiler exports were strong during October and November 2011, the 2011 four-quarter projection was revised up 50 million pounds, pushing total projected shipments to 1.85 billion pounds.

U.S. turkey shipments totaled 68.6 million pounds in November 2011, a 6-percent increase from 2010 numbers. Mexico has been the largest U.S. turkey market for years and continues to account for at least 50 percent of the U.S. total turkey shipments. Besides Mexico, the increase in November 2011 turkey shipments consisted of strong imports from Hong Kong. Hong Kong imported over 6.4 million pounds, which was 9 percent of U.S. total turkey exports in November 2011.