Shipments of U.S. broilers in July totaled 602.9 million pounds, a 7 percent reduction over broiler meat shipped in July 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.

The primary reason for the drop in shipments was weak demand in two major markets (Hong Kong and Cuba) and in at least two minor markets (Georgia and South Korea), said the USDA. Shipments to Hong Kong declined 78 percent, while shipments to Cuba, Georgia and South Korea decreased 52, 67 and 44 percent, respectively. Shipments to the two largest broiler markets, Mexico and Russia, rose in July: broiler meat shipped to Mexico increased 26 percent from 2011 numbers, and shipments to Russia increased 23 percent. However, these two increases were not enough to offset the decline in shipments to other markets.

Turkey shipments in July were up 25 percent from 2011, with over 65.6 million pounds of turkey meat shipped abroad. Turkey shipments have been up despite higher year-over-year whole hen turkey prices. The chief reason for this increase is strong foreign demand, according to the USDA. Over half (54 percent) of the turkey meat shipped internationally went to Mexico, the largest U.S. turkey market; turkey shipments to Mexico increased 17 percent from 2011 numbers. There were also significant increases in turkey shipments to the Philippines, mainland China and Taiwan. Turkey shipments to the Philippines and Taiwan rose 776 and 492 percent, respectively, from July 2011. China imported 51 percent more turkey meat in July 2012 than it did during the same month in 2011.

U.S. egg shipments in July totaled 23.6 million dozen, up 16 percent from 2011. Exports in July may have been supported by relatively low prices in the preceding months. The primary reason for the increase is relatively low egg prices, said the USDA report. In the second quarter, wholesale prices for one dozen grade A large eggs in the New York market averaged $1.07. The three largest U.S. egg markets are Hong Kong, Japan and Canada. Among these three markets, egg shipments to Hong Kong were the largest at 4.9 million dozen, a 19 percent increase from July 2011. Canada had the largest increase from 2011 numbers, at 36.7 percent. Japan imported 7.7 percent more eggs in July 2012 than the same time in 2011.

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