Despite the loss of the Russian market for the fourth quarter, U.S. poultry export quantity in 2014 set a new record for the second consecutive year, and the value of those exports was the second-highest in history, according to year-end trade data released recently by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
Exports of U.S. poultry in 2014 reached 4.1 million metric tons, 0.4 percent ahead of 2013, while value fell 0.3 percent to $5.501 billion.
The record exports came even after Russia enacted an embargo in August 2014 on most imports of food and agricultural products from the West in response to U.S., Europe and others over Russia’s activities in Ukraine.
“This record year demonstrates that the U.S. industry has become much more diversified and is no longer dependent on one or two export markets,” said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), which promotes U.S. poultry and egg exports through its network of 14 international offices. “Only a few years ago, losing a market like Russia would have been devastating. Now, it barely caused a ripple.”
The combined value of U.S. poultry and egg exports for 2014 came within less than one percentage point of the previous record, also set in 2013, reaching $5.838 billion, down just 0.2 percent, according to the FAS data.
Record year for US egg exports
Also, 2014 was a record year for exports of U.S. eggs. Combined exports of table eggs and processed egg products, measured in shell-egg equivalents, increased by 1 percent to 352.7 million dozen, while their value inched up 0.4 percent to $336.75 million.
Broiler meat exports
U.S. broiler meat exports (excluding chicken paws) dipped by 0.6 percent last year to 3.3 million tons, while value fell by 4 percent to $4.063 billion. Top markets last year were Mexico, up 9 percent to 696,230 tons; Russia, down 48 percent to 143,942 tons, thanks to the embargo; Angola, up 12 percent to 231,717 tons; and Canada, down 4 percent to 162,699 tons.
Other key broiler markets in 2014 were Cuba, 143,582 tons, up 3 percent; Iraq (including transshipments via Turkey), 147,774 tons, down 10 percent; China, 117,887 tons, down 10 percent; Taiwan, 115,407 tons, up 20 percent; Hong Kong, 105,445 tons, up 47 percent; and Georgia, 87,368 tons, up 1 percent.
Chicken paw exports
Exports of U.S. chicken paws last year reached 312,851 tons valued at $441.9 million, up 4 and 19 percent, respectively. Hong Kong accounted for 72 percent of total U.S. shipments of paws, while China accounted for 25 percent. Paw exports to Hong Kong were up 122 percent and shipments to China fell by 48 percent.
US turkey exports second-highest in history
U.S. turkey export quantity in 2014 was the second-highest ever, rising by 6 percent to 364,915 tons, surpassing the 2012 record. Export value, meanwhile, set a new benchmark, up 11 percent to $766.8 million.
Key markets included Mexico, 230,990 tons, up 24 percent; China, 27,573 tons, down 36 percent; Canada, 10,336 tons, up 2 percent; Benin, 6,570 tons, up 11 percent; and Hong Kong, 6,352 tons, up 12 percent.
The top five markets for U.S. turkey – Mexico, China, Canada, Benin, and Hong Kong – captured 77 percent of total export shipments in 2014, with Mexico alone accounting for 63 percent.
For table eggs, exports in 2014 were 196.9 million dozen valued at $198.39 million, up 5 and 8 percent, respectively, thanks largely to increased shipments to Canada. Exports reached an all-time high in both quantity and in value.
Shipments to Canada increased by 103 percent to 79.8 million dozen. Other key markets were Hong Kong, 49.5 million dozen, down 4 percent; Mexico, 43.9 million dozen, down 29 percent; the European Union, 4.8 million dozen, down 44 percent; and Trinidad and Tobago, 3.9 million dozen, up 39 percent. The top five markets accounted for 92 percent of the total table egg shipments last year.
Exports of processed U.S. egg products dropped by 9 percent last year to $138.36 million. Export sales to Japan decreased by 19 percent to $40.73 million, accounting for 29 percent of U.S. exports of egg products. Although exports to Mexico fell by 11 percent to $33.64 million, shipments to Canada shot up by 40 percent to $20.11 million.