Poultry and Eggs, NEC

SIC 0259

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category includes establishments primarily engaged in the production of poultry and eggs, not elsewhere classified. This industry also includes establishments deriving 50 percent or more of their total value of sales of agricultural products from poultry and eggs (Industry Group 025), but less than 50 percent from products of any single industry.

Included in this industry are businesses engaged in operating duck farms, geese farms, pheasant and pigeon farms, quail and squab farms, and poultry egg farms, except chicken and turkey eggs. Although accounting for only a small percentage of overall poultry and poultry egg sales, the geese, pheasant, pigeon, and other birds farmed in this industry benefited from brisk sales throughout the mid-1990s, as consumers' tastes shifted from red to white meat. Consumption, however, flattened toward the end of the decade and remained stagnant throughout the first decade of the 2000s. The economic recession of the late 2000s and high grain prices stymied the industry further. Indiana, California and Pennsylvania are the top three producers of ducks; Texas, Minnesota and South Dakota produced the most geese. Per capita consumption of duck was approximately one-third of a pound, down from nearly one-half a pound in the mid-1980s.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 22.8 million ducks were slaughtered for consumption in 2009, down from 24.1 million, 28.0 million, and 27.3 million in 2008, 2007, and 2006, respectively. This amounted to 158.2 million pounds (live weight) in 2009, compared to 161.8 million pounds, 183.9 million pounds, and 188.2 million pounds in 2008, 2007, and 2006, respectively. Each year, ducks account for less than 1 percent of the overall poultry industry. Additionally, 4.3 million pounds of "other" poultry meat was marketed in 2009, mostly to gourmet markets. This category includes geese, guineas, ostriches, emus, rheas, and squab. The category totaled 4.6 million pounds in 2008, 3.7 million pounds in 2007, and 4.6 million pounds in 2006. Thus, between 2007 and 2009, the number of ducks slaughtered in the United States declined by 17 percent.

According at a 2010 report by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, the quantities of ducks imported decreased by 31 percent for the January-November period between 2007 and 2009 and decreased by 50 percent since 2003. Over the same period, the value of duck imports declined by nearly 19 percent since 2007 and by 33 percent since 2003. In 2009, the United States imported 1.46 million metric tons of ducks and duck parts. About 97 percent of all ducks and duck parts imported into the United States come from Canada. France leads in the category of duck livers.

Duck exports for the January-November period fell by 14 percent between 2007 and 2009 and by 48 percent between 2005 (the 10-year high mark) and 2009. Export values also declined, by 5 percent between 2007 and 2009 and by 19 percent between 2005 and 2009. Most exports are either frozen whole or frozen cuts, which make up approximately 90 percent of all exports. Fresh or chilled cut or whole ducks make up much smaller segments of exports. Some of the primary destinations for U.S. duck exports include Asia, the Caribbean and North America.

In the early 2010s, the majority of poultry farms in this category were small-scale operations employing less than five people. The average revenue was $400,000; however, the 88 percent of the industry with less than five employees generated average revenues of $100,000. The three largest companies, which had between 250 and 499 employees, accounted for more than 50 percent of industry revenues.

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