U.S. poultry meat exports for the first five months of 2012 increased by 13 percent from the same span in 2011, reaching 1.66 million metric tons, while export value for the period climbed 24 percent to $2.22 billion, according to trade data released recently by the Foreign Agricultural Service. In addition, for the second consecutive month, quantity and value of poultry meat exports set year-on-year records.

Poultry exports for May reached 336,387 metric tons valued at $460 million, up 5 percent and 13 percent, respectively, from May 2011. Export value for the month was the highest ever. May exports of broiler meat (excluding chicken paws) totaled 271,883 metric tons, up 6 percent from May 2011. Export value reached $353.8 million, up 17 percent year over year.

For January through May, cumulative exports of broiler meat (excluding paws) rose by 13 percent to 1.33 million metric tons, while value reached $1.68 billion, up 28 percent from the same period in 2011, both setting year-on-year records.

Broiler meat shipments to Mexico for the period grew by 18 percent over 2011 to 217,062 metric tons, while exports to Russia increased by 138 percent to 111,333 metric tons. Exports to Cuba hit 64,367 metric tons, up 267 percent year on year, while shipments to Canada were 63,712 metric tons, up 19 percent, according to Foreign Agricultural Service data.

Exports to other important markets included Angola, 62,445 metric tons, up 30 percent; Taiwan, 60,581 metric tons, up 17 percent; Hong Kong, 59,279 metric tons, down 34 percent; Iraq, 53,558 metric tons, down 11 percent; Kazakhstan, 43,504 metric tons, up almost eight-fold year on year; and China, 34,108 metric tons, up 64 percent.

Exports of U.S. chicken paws in May were 32,319 metric tons valued at $44.2 million, up 9 percent and 2 percent compared to May 2011 numbers. Cumulative paw exports for the first five months reached 163,518 metric tons, up 20 percent year on year. Export value set a year-on-year record at $219.8 million, up 9 percent. Of total paw shipments, 81 percent were shipped to Hong Kong and 17 percent were shipped to mainland China.

Total January–May broiler exports (including paws) this year set year-on-year records in both volume and value, with an export quantity of 1.5 million tons valued at $1.9 billion, up 14 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Of the total, 43 percent was shipped to the top five markets — Mexico, Hong Kong, Russia, Cuba and Canada.

For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.