Broiler exports finished out 2019 at 7.1 billion pounds, a 0.6% increase over 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook” report.
The final numbers showed Mexico continued to be the largest U.S. broiler export market in terms of volume, while Cuba became the second-largest market. USDA said the implementation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act in the early part of the year brought significant uncertainty to U.S.-Cuba poultry trade, motivating increased purchases of U.S. broiler products the country, which has traditionally imported a significant volume of chicken meat to distribute countrywide as a government social program. However, USDA said exports to Cuba dropped off significantly in the fourth quarter, likely due at least in part to foreign exchange constraints.
USDA also reported that exports to Georgia increased by 139 million pounds year over year but added that the ultimate destination for much of this volume was likely Kazakhstan.
Shipments to Vietnam increased by 109 million pounds, which USDA said was likely due to increased demand for protein imports stemming from losses from African swine fever.
USDA also noted that foreign sales to Angola decreased significantly by 94 million pounds, likely the result of Angola’s depreciating Kwanza.
In terms of value, USDA reported 2019 broiler exports were valued at 3.2 billion dollars, 2.5% higher than 2018, largely due to higher U.S. leg and leg quarter prices, which represent approximately 60% of export volumes.