The dollar value of combined U.S. poultry and egg exports increased by 10.5 percent in 2017, a bigger gain than in any year since 2013, according to a new analysis of federal data by the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). The results reflect the industry’s rebound from the devastating effects of an avian influenza outbreak three years ago.
Combined exports of U.S. poultry and eggs were $4.509 billion in 2017, up $427.1 million from 2016, according to trade data released by the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Chicken, turkey, table egg, and egg product categories all showed gains in exports last year.
The value of U.S. poultry and egg exports had declined in the last three years after the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in the U.S. in 2014 and 2015. Export value fell 25.8 percent in 2015 alone. The crisis cost the U.S. industry more than $4 billion, the worst revenue loss in the industry’s history. Nationwide import bans imposed by many countries on U.S. product have nearly all been lifted since then, except for China.
“The good news is that, knock on wood, the U.S. has not had an avian influenza incident for nearly a year, and our industry has made a remarkable recovery, stepping up biosecurity and recovering nearly every lost market,” said James Sumner, president of USAPEEC. “The only major market remaining closed is China, and we suspect the reason is more political in nature than it is science based.”
The value of exports of poultry meat, including chicken, turkey and duck, rose 9.8 percent in 2017 to $4.260 billion. Volume increased 3.1 percent to 3,716,360 metric tons.
The value of egg exports, including table eggs plus egg products in shell egg equivalent, jumped 22.7 percent to $248.9 million. Volume soared 27.3 percent to 263.2 million dozen.
Individual product categories all showed increases:
Broiler meat – Export value rose 11.9 percent to $3.421 billion. Export volume grew 2.9 percent to 3,263,675 metric tons.
Turkey – Export value rose 2.4 percent to $609.8 million. Export volume increased 9.3 percent to 282,080 metric tons.
Table eggs – Export value rose 4.9 percent to $129.8 million. Export volume increased 1.7 percent to 125.4 million dozen.
Egg products – Export value jumped 50.7 percent to $119.2 million.
The value of exports in each category also increased for the month of December.
The top markets in 2017 for U.S. broiler exports were Mexico, with 18.4 percent of volume, followed by Hong Kong at 9.7 percent, and Cuba at 6.3 percent.
Mexico was also the top market for turkey, with 61.9 percent of U.S. exports, with Hong Kong next at 4.8 percent.
Hong Kong was the top market for U.S. table eggs, with 30.2 percent of exports, followed by Canada at 24.4 percent, and Mexico at 12.1 percent.
Japan was the leading market for U.S. egg product exports, with 36.1 percent of volume, followed by South Korea at 14 percent, and Mexico at 11.5 percent.