Combined export value of U.S. poultry meat and eggs reached a record $5.7 billion in 2012, a 12 percent increase from 2011, according to year-end data released by the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Poultry meat exports set records in both quantity and value in 2012. Export value was nearly $5.5 billion, rising 11 percent year-over-year, and quantity was 4.1 million metric tons, up 5 percent.
Egg exports also reached record levels. Total exports (table eggs plus processed egg products in shell-egg equivalents) were 274.1 million dozen, valued at $263.7 million, up 24 and 35 percent from 2011, respectively.
The U.S. industry, which for years depended on a few behemoths, such as Russia and China, for the majority of its exports sales, is now much less dependent on those markets, as new markets have opened and sales expanded to the rest of the world, said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, in a written statement.