Farmer's Report

Chicken Trends - May 20, 2022

Poultry market information is from the week of May 15, 2022.

This week, analysts report that the breast meat and tender markets are poised to continue to increase. Urner Barry has reported that small, medium and jumbo boneless breasts are at record-high prices, and the jumbo breast meat market is at its highest point since at least 1989. Small bone-in and boneless products are under supply pressure, as analysts report slightly lower cumulative placements over last year, due primarily to hatchability. Analysts forecast price increases for jumbo breasts through May, and jumbo tenders through August. Industry analysts report that continued labor issues, hatchability, high feed cost and ingredient shortages are hampering production in Further Processing facilities. Retail and Further Processing demand continues to increase, creating additional pressure in the foodservice supply arena. Analysts expect higher prices and tight supplies of boneless breast meat and tenders in the second quarter, due to low cold storage levels, hatchability, fuel price increases and supply constraints.

Broiler-Type Eggs Set in the United States Up 1%

Hatcheries in the United States weekly program set 242 million eggs in incubators during the week ending May 14, 2022, up 1% from a year ago. Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week in the United States was 80.1%. Average hatchability is calculated by dividing chicks hatched during the week by eggs set three weeks earlier.

Broiler-Type Chicks Placed in the United States Up Slightly

Broiler growers in the United States weekly program placed 188 million chicks for meat production for the week ending May 14, 2022, up slightly from a year ago. Cumulative placements for the weeks ending January 8 through May 14, 2022, were 3.54 billion, down slightly compared to the same time last year.


Analysts report that small bird and larger whole bird demand is strong, and supplies are extremely tight, with pricing moving upward and availability being constrained.


The small boneless breast market was unchanged this week. The jumbo and medium boneless breast markets were up this week, according to analysts. Spot loads of jumbo breast meat have been minimal. Small and medium breasts are in a very tight position, with very little additional product showing up in the marketplace. Analysts expect all boneless breast markets to trend upward in the near term, as supply continues to be impacted by hatchability and high demand. According to industry analysts, most processors are being challenged with ongoing labor shortages, hatchability issues, ingredient shortages, high fuel costs and transportation issues.

The select and jumbo tender markets were up this week. Analysts expect these markets to trend upward through July. Spot load offerings of small fresh tenders have been nonexistent this week, and jumbo fresh tender offerings are minimal, with very little discounting, according to analysts. Urner Barry has reported that jumbo and small tenders have reached record-high prices.


Pricing for jumbo wings stabilized this week, as analysts have reported. Small and medium wings traded lower, with few spot opportunities surfacing. Small wings are under pressure, according to analysts, as demand is light, and Further Processors have filled their cold storage inventory goals. Analysts predict that, due to medium bird processors taking their bird weights up to a jumbo size, the market will continue to see pressure in terms of consistent medium wing availability. Minimal spot load offerings of jumbo and small wings have been uncovered. Analysts expect the jumbo and small wing markets to continue to retreat through May.


The boneless, skinless thigh meat and leg meat markets increased this week. Spot load offerings of boneless thighs and boneless leg meat have not surfaced. Analysts have forecasted the market to trend flat to upward through June.

The data contained in the Farmer’s Report is provided for informational purposes only, is not tailored to your specific purchasing needs, and is not intended as a substitute for any other publicly-available market data or information. The Farmer’s Report is compiled from the last-received market data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and/or other market sources, and is subject to change without notice. Nothing herein is the opinion of US Foods®. US Foods neither assumes any legal liability nor makes any warranty or guaranty, either express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of this information.