December 8, 1998
News Release 98-095
U.S. REMAINS WORLD'S LEADING POULTRY PRODUCER
The United States remained the world's leading producer and exporter of poultry during the
years 1993-97 and likely will dominate the world market in the future, reports the U.S.
International Trade Commission (ITC) in its publication Industry and Trade Summary: Poultry.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, recently released the report
as part of an ongoing series of reports on the thousands of products imported into and exported
from the United States. The following are highlights from the report.
- The United States is the world's leading producer and exporter of poultry. Between
1993 and 1997, the period covered by this report, the U.S. poultry industry expanded
rapidly, largely due to a boom in exports. During the period, exports more than
doubled, averaging about 26 percent annual growth, compared with a 5 percent growth
in annual production. Export growth likely will continue in the future; however,
economic uncertainty in Asia and the Russia (major U.S. markets) makes the outlook
somewhat uncertain. The United States also faces stiff competition in international
markets from Brazil, Thailand, China, and the European Union.
- During 1993-97, the average annual value of U.S. live poultry and poultry meat
shipments was about $15 billion, while industry employment was approximately
230,000 persons. U.S. imports of poultry are negligible, at less than 0.5 percent of
consumption. Endowed with a favorable climate, state-of-the-art production
technology, low feed costs, and advantageous market structures, the U.S. poultry
industry is among the most efficient in the world. In 1997, about 17 percent of U.S.
production was exported, compared with only 8 percent in 1993. Principal markets
included Russia, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
- World trade in poultry products is restricted as a result of both tariff and nontariff
measures. For example, tariffs on U.S. product exported to Russia, Japan, and Canada
are in excess of 20 percent, while nontariff barriers, such as sanitary certification,
veterinary equivalence, and labeling requirements, also represent major obstacles for
- The principal U.S. consumers for poultry products include households, restaurants,
institutions, and producers of further processed products (such as breaded chicken
fillets and nuggets, and turkey franks). At the retail level, changes in consumer
incomes and retail prices for poultry products relative to other meats are the principal
factors influencing the demand for poultry products. Other factors affecting
consumption include advertising, promotion, and concern about health and nutrition.
The foregoing information is from the ITC report Industry and Trade Summary: Poultry
(USITC Publication 3148, December 1998).
ITC Industry Summary reports include information on product uses, U.S. and foreign
producers, and customs treatment of the products being studied; they analyze the basic factors
affecting trends in consumption, production, and trade of the commodities, as well as factors
bearing on the competitiveness of the U.S. industry in domestic and foreign markets.
This report will be available on the ITC's Internet server at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy
may be requested without charge by calling (202) 205-1809, or by writing the Office of the
Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436.
Requests may be faxed to (202) 205-2104.
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