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Turkey production in the United States has been up this year and is expected to be higher during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season than last year. While strong demand for turkey meat kept prices relatively high during the summer months, as the holiday season approaches a seasonal increase in supplies is expected to moderate further price increases. The average wholesale price for frozen whole turkey during fourth-quarter 2012 is projected to range from $1.10 to $1.14 per pound -- similar to the 2011 fourth-quarter average price of $1.11 per pound.  The average retail price for whole frozen turkeys in September 2012 was $1.62, about 6 cents lower than the average retail price for whole frozen turkeys in September 2011. Turkey consumption in the United States is expected to reach 16.4 pounds per person in 2012, a 2-percent increase from last year.

For the most current coverage of the livestock industry, see the monthly newsletter Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.

Production, Consumption, and Trade

Value of turkey production at the farm level:

  • 2007: $3.95 billion
  • 2008: $4.48 billion
  • 2009: $3.57 billion
  • 2010: $4.37 billion    
  • 2011: $4.99 billion

Data are reported annually in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Poultry Production and Value report (May).

U.S. turkey meat production:

  • 2007: 5.95 billion pounds
  • 2008: 6.25 billion pounds
  • 2009: 5.66 billion pounds
  • 2010: 5.64 billion pounds
  • 2011: 5.79 billion pounds
  • 2012: 5.98 billion pounds (October projection)

Data are reported in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates ( WASDE) report.

State turkey production, 2011:

U.S. total - 248.5 million birds

Top eight:

  • MN-46.5 million (18.7 percent)
  • NC-32 million (12.9 percent)
  • AR-30.5 million (12.3 percent)
  • MO-17.5 million (7.0 percent)
  • VA-17.5 million (7.0 percent)
  • IN-16 million (6.4 percent)
  • CA-15 million (6.0 percent)
  • SC-11 million (4.4 percent)

Data are reported annually in the NASS Poultry Production and Value report.

U.S. turkey total use (consumption):

  • 2007: 5.30 billion pounds
  • 2008: 5.37 billion pounds
  • 2009: 5.21 billion pounds
  • 2010: 5.08 billion pounds
  • 2011: 5.02 billion pounds
  • 2012: 5.14 billion pounds (October projection)

Data are reported in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates ( WASDE) report.

U.S. turkey per capita consumption:

  • 2007: 17.4 pounds
  • 2008: 17.5 pounds
  • 2009: 16.8 pounds
  • 2010: 16.3 pounds
  • 2011: 16.1 pounds
  • 2012: 16.4 pounds (October projection)

Data are reported in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates ( WASDE) report.

U.S. turkey exports:

  • 2007: 546.52 million pounds, valued at $399.7 million
  • 2008: 676.22 million pounds, valued at $481.9 million
  • 2009: 533.83 million pounds, valued at $394.6 million
  • 2010: 582.80 million pounds, valued at $464.0 million
  • 2011: 702.64 million pounds, valued at $599.5 million  
  • 2012: 741.00 million pounds (October projection)

Quantity data are reported in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates ( WASDE) report.

U.S. turkey exports as percent of production:

  • 2007: 9.2 percent
  • 2008: 10.8 percent
  • 2009: 9.4 percent
  • 2010: 10.3 percent
  • 2011: 12.1 percent

(Turkey exports divided by turkey production)

U.S. Turkey Prices

Retail price for whole turkey hens:

  • 2007 average: $1.15 per pound
  • 2008 average: $1.25 per pound
  • 2009 average: $1.396 per pound
  • 2010 average: $1.477 per pound
  • 2011 average: $1.584 per pound

The series is reported monthly in Meat Price Spreads on the ERS website.

Wholesale price for whole turkey hens:

  • 2007 average: 79.0 cents per pound
  • 2008 average: 84.5 cents per pound
  • 2009 average: 76.5 cents per pound
  • 2010 average: 90.4 cents per pound
  • 2011 average: 102.0 cents per pound
  • 2012 average: 107.0 (October projection)

Data are reported in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates ( WASDE) report.

Last updated: Wednesday, November 07, 2012

For more information contact: Christopher Davis

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