The 2011 fourth-quarter U.S. turkey exports were the largest ever recorded in a single quarter, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Turkey exports totaled 199 million pounds, up 14 percent from 2010's fourth-quarter numbers. This increase is attributed partly to a strong demand for turkey meat from importing countries such as Mexico and Hong Kong, according to the USDA. In comparison with the fourth quarter of 2010, exports to Hong Kong rose by 51 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and shipments to Mexico increased 21 percent over the same time period. While China continues to be the second-largest turkey market for the U.S., its fourth-quarter turkey imports dropped 24 percent from 2010 fourth quarter numbers.


Turkey shipments totaled 71 million pounds in December 2011, up about 18 percent from 2010. The increase in turkey shipments recorded for December 2011 was stimulated mainly by strong shipments to Mexico, Hong Kong and minor markets, said the USDA. Mexico and Hong Kong both imported over 13.5 million pounds more in December 2011 than they did in 2010.