Top US chicken producers expanding production capabilities
Powered by strong performance, the top integrated poultry companies in the U.S. are making investments in new or upgraded facilities.
Times were good for top broiler companies in the U.S. in 2017. Driven by favorable market conditions, 28 of the 32 companies included in WATT Global Media’s annual Top Broiler Companies survey either increased production or maintained the same level of production as the previous year.
Read the entire report about the top U.S. broiler companies exclusively in the March issue of WATT PoultryUSA.
In the years ahead, the global
With this positive momentum, many in the industry committed to expansion in 2017 and beyond. According to survey responses and industry research, 14 of the 32 companies made a significant investment – in the form of new construction, acquisition or significant upgrades – in 2017 or announced plans for new investments in 2018 or later.
One leading figure in the industry, Joe Sanderson Jr., CEO of third-ranked Sanderson Farms Inc., closed 2017 with the prediction that the amount of broiler meat produced in the U.S. will grow by 9.7 percent by 2021 due to current market conditions and ongoing industry expansion.
Industry performance at a glance
In total, the 32 top broiler companies produced 898.87 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken (RTC) on a weekly basis in 2017, 36.03 million pounds – or about 4 percent – more than the 862.84 million pounds produced on a weekly basis in 2016.
Nineteen of the 32 companies saw production rise year-over-year while nine experienced no change. Comparatively, only four companies decreased output during the year. The decrease was relatively slight as well. As a whole, those four companies accounted for a decline of only 1.36 million pounds RTC on a weekly basis.
Top producers invest in expansion
The five largest chicken companies in the U.S. – Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, Perdue Foods and Koch Foods Inc. – retained their leading position in 2017. With the exception of Koch, all increased year-over-year production. With the wind at their backs, four of these companies committed to major investments in 2017 to grow production in the future.
Tyson Foods, the top chicken company, produced 174.80 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2017, an increase of 510,000 pounds – or about .29 percent – from 2016.