In August 2011, U.S. broiler shipments totaled 693.3 million pounds, the largest shipments on record, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

August 2012 broiler shipments totaled 648 million pounds, a 6.5-percent decrease from 2011. The decline in broiler shipments is attributed to weak sales in broiler markets like Angola, Hong Kong and Georgia, which were particularly strong in August 2011. These three countries accounted for 24 percent of total U.S. broiler exports in August 2011 and slightly less than 10 percent in August 2012.

Shipments to Mexico, Cuba, Canada and Taiwan rose in August. Shipments to Mexico reached an all-time high at 114.7 million pounds, while imports of U.S. broilers by Cuba, Canada and Taiwan increased 54, 33 and 77 percent, respectively. These increases, however, were not enough to offset the reduction in U.S. broiler meat exported to other major destinations, according to the USDA.

U.S. turkey shipments in August set a new record at 77.6 million pounds, up 26 percent from August 2011 and 8 percent higher than the previous record of 71.8 million pounds shipped in October 2008. A total of 77.2 million pounds of turkey meat were exported. Mexico and China are the largest turkey markets, and accounted for 65 percent of all turkey meat exported by the U.S. in August 2012. Canada, Taiwan and the Philippines were also leading importers; shipments to the Philippines and Taiwan increased over 400 percent from 2011 numbers, while exports to Canada rose 62 percent.

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