FarmEcon LLC Monthly Turkey Supply-Use Tracker
Based on USDA data, monthly supply and use trends for the U.S. turkey industry are shown below. This information will be updated on about the 5th of the month after the last data piece, export tonnage, is published by USDA.
These charts show annualized data for domestic use, total domestic and export use, and the major components that go into the use statistics. All data are taken from the USDA sources noted. This information is supplied gratis to the turkey industry as a sincere thank you for all the incredible support given to FarmEcon LLC since 2003.
Updates: As of February 6, 2018 complete 2017 data are added, and all charts and comments updated. Monthly imports were added to domestic use estimates. A chart on eggs in incubators and net poult placements is added. A chart on annual exports by destination is added. A chart on lost exports by country 2012-2017 is added.
All data through August 2018 were added and historical data updated on October 5, 2018.
Overview - Domestic and total monthly turkey use
Detailed components of domestic and total monthly turkey use
Another way of looking at stocks is how much is in frozen inventory relative to total monthly use. The lower the value, the tighter are the stocks relative to use. The statistic is calculated as:
Monthly total frozen stocks
÷ Monthly turkey total use
x Number of days in the month.
Example - Stocks are 300 million pounds, total use is 500 million pounds, and there are 30 days in the month.
300 ÷ 500 X 30 = 18 days of use in inventory.
The number represents days-adjusted buffer stock held in frozen stocks at locations surveyed by USDA. It shows how many days it would take to use up those stocks at the current use rate.
Comments: There is, naturally, significant seasonality to the statistic. During the year millions of pounds of frozen whole bird stocks are put back for the holiday season, then sold mainly in October-November. The typical peak stocks are in June or July at about 35 to 40 days. After that, frozen birds start to move to retail freezer space, and disappear from the USDA Cold Storage Report. The seasonal low is always November, and generally around 10 days.
In addition to total frozen stocks, USDA also publishes monthly estimates of several categories of turkey cuts and whole birds. These data are shown in the graph below.
Comments: Frozen breasts are mostly a product from heavy toms. The 2017 sharp increase in breast and whole tom stocks is an indication of a supply-demand imbalance in this key white meat turkey sub-market. Similarly, the relatively small 2016-2017 increase in hen stocks also reflects a minor holiday whole bird supply-demand imbalance. Early 2018 seasonal increases were not unusually large, but are started from a higher base than 2017 or 2016. Stabilizing breast stocks are encouraging, as are the June-August numbers that showed declines. Hen stocks are also well below last year.
USDA data on 2012 to 2017 exports by FAS product category of turkey cuts and whole birds are shown in the graph below. Data are from the USDA/FAS GATS database.
Comments: Almost all of the chilled cuts and whole birds go to Mexico. All post-HPAI product exports dropped off, but Mexico chilled cuts volume has held up much better than the rest of the world. Leg volume, also predominately going to Mexico, has not fared as well. Export gains this year have been somewhat concentrated in the last half. September and October 2017 exports both exceeded 60 million pounds. Those are the best months since HPAI struck in the spring of 2015.
USDA data on 2012 to 2017 turkey exports by country of destination are shown in the graph below. Data are from the USDA/FAS GATS database.
Comments: Mexico accounts for about half of U.S. turkey exports, and volume has almost recovered to pre-HPAI levels in this key market. Exports have not recovered in many smaller volume markets and China. In 2012 and 2013 China imported over 40,000 tons of U.S. turkey. Imports since the 2015 HPAI outbreak have been zero. Recovering access to the China market would represent major progress in restoring exports to pre-2015 levels. Cuba and Russia, at one time also significant markets, have also not resumed U.S. turkey imports while volume to the Philippines has also dwindled.
USDA data detailing 2012-2017 lost turkey exports by country of destination are shown in the graph below. Data are from the USDA/FAS GATS database.
Comments: Since 2012 these four countries have, for the most part, stopped importing U.S. turkey products. While HPAI played a role, exports were already declining before the 2015 outbreak.