U.S. poultry exports for the first quarter of 2012 reached 984,947 metric tons, a 14 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011, while the value of the shipments hit $1.302 billion, up 27 percent, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service. Both numbers are all-time records.

Poultry exports for the month of March alone also set quantity and value records, reaching 339,220 metric tons valued at $459.4 million, up 9.3 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively, over March 2011 numbers. Monthly exports of broiler meat — excluding chicken paws — in March were 269,755 metric tons, up 7 percent from March 2011, while export value rose to $343.2 million, up 23 percent, fueled by increased shipments to Cuba, Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan, said the report.

First-quarter broiler meat shipments to Mexico, the top market for U.S. poultry, rose by 11 percent year-over-year to 128,274 metric tons, while exports to Russia increased 91 percent to 52,968 metric tons. Exports to Cuba climbed four-fold to 45,072 metric tons, while shipments to Taiwan rose by 9 percent to 40,962 metric tons. Exports to other important markets in the first quarter were Hong Kong, 37,226 metric tons, down 34 percent; Canada, 35,965 metric tons, up 11 percent; Iraq (including transshipments via Turkey) 35,875 metric tons, up 7 percent; Angola, 26,557 metric tons, down 8 percent; South Korea, 22,141 metric tons, down 20 percent; and Kazakhstan, 21,443 metric tons, up nine-fold year-on-year.


U.S. turkey meat exports rose by 9 percent in March to 29,111 metric tons over March 2011, while value jumped by 24 percent to $57.8 million. Both export quantity and value set records for the month. Cumulative first-quarter 2012 turkey exports also set records for quantity and value, reaching 82,053 metric tons valued at $160.5 million, respective increases of 13 percent and 28 percent from the same period in 2011. Exports to top market Mexico climbed to 46,947 metric tons at $98.8 million, up 13 percent and 25 percent year-on-year, respectively. Moreover, the top five markets accounted for 79 percent of U.S. turkey meat exports for the first quarter, with Mexico alone taking 57 percent.

For table eggs, export quantity for March was 7.7 million dozen, down 5 percent from March 2011, while export value was $7 million, up 0.6 percent. The dip is largely attributable to decreased exports to the U.A.E. Quarterly exports of table eggs jumped to nearly 21 million dozen valued at $19.4 million, up 31 percent and 42 percent year-on-year, respectively. Of the total, 82 percent, or just over 17 million dozen, were shipped to the top five export markets of Hong Kong, Canada, U.A.E., Bahamas and Netherlands Antilles. Total egg exports (table eggs plus egg products in shell-egg equivalents) for the first quarter of 2012 were 53.7 million dozen, up 2 percent from the same period of 2011, while export value was $51.3 million, up 29 percent year-over-year.