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Poultry and egg statistics, May 2021 and annual 2020

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Released: 2021-05-27

Data on stocks of frozen eggs and poultry meats, as well as edible dried egg products, are available for May 2021. Data on the placements of hatchery chicks and turkey poults are available for April 2021, and data on egg production are available for March 2021. Annual data on poultry and egg production are also available for 2020.

Sales of poultry meat hold steady in 2020, while egg sales rise

Poultry producers produced 1.5 billion kilograms of chicken, turkey and stewing hens in 2020, down 2.2% compared with 2019. This was the first decline in the total weight of poultry birds produced in Canada in a decade. Producers faced temporary closures of processing facilities and reduced demand from the food service industry as a result of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, sales of poultry meat held steady at $3.2 billion in 2020, as a result of higher producer prices (see note to readers).

Combined, Ontario and Quebec accounted for over half of chicken production and two-thirds of the turkey production in Canada in 2020.

Net egg production rose 2.1% annually to 839.3 million dozen eggs in 2020—the 16th consecutive annual increase.

Chicken continues to lead total poultry production

Pandemic-related disruptions to the poultry supply chain led to a decline in the total weight of chicken produced in 2020. Mass closures in the restaurant and hospitality industries limited demand for chicken, while COVID-19 outbreaks at meat processing facilities limited supply.

As a result, the production of chickens, including stewing hens, declined 2.0% from the previous year to 1.3 billion kilograms in 2020. Despite the slowdowns, the total weight of chicken produced in 2020 nevertheless exceeded 2018 levels. Chickens accounted for 89.2% of total poultry production in 2020.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Chicken (including stewing hen) production
Chicken (including stewing hen) production

Turkey production decreased 4.1% to 158.3 million kilograms in 2020—the fourth consecutive annual decline

Chart 2  Chart 2: Turkey production
Turkey production

According to data on food availability, the per capita availability of turkey (-9.4%) and beef (-9.7%) declined from 2010 to 2019, while the per capita availability of chicken (+15.2%) and pork (+0.4%) was up (see note to readers).

Chicken prices have risen at a slower pace than beef or pork over the past decade

Retail prices for stewing beef (+69.4%) rose at a much faster pace than pork (+27.4%) or chicken (+20.3%) from 2010 to 2020. The lower price increase for chicken compared with other popular meats may have contributed to greater consumer demand, which spurred chicken production and availability for consumption.

Ontario produces and sells the most poultry among the provinces

Ontario accounted for one-third or 440.1 million kilograms of the chicken (including stewing hen) produced in Canada in 2020, while Quebec accounted for just over one-quarter or 343.1 million kilograms. These provinces were also responsible for most of the turkey produced in Canada in 2020, with Ontario producing 45.0% or 71.2 million kilograms, and Quebec 21.1% or 33.3 million kilograms.

Ontario's sales of poultry meat accounted for one-third or $1.1 billion of total sales in 2020, while Quebec accounted for one-quarter or $826.0 million.

Newfoundland and Labrador farmers received the highest producer prices for chicken (including stewing hens) on average, at $2.43 per kilogram in 2020. In contrast, farmers in Ontario received the lowest prices ($2.11 per kilogram).

Farmers in British Columbia ($2.39 per kilogram) received the highest producer prices for their turkeys, while those in New Brunswick ($2.26 per kilogram) received the lowest prices.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Shares of poultry production by province, 2020
Shares of poultry production by province, 2020

Net egg production continues to increase

Canadian net egg production rose 2.1% in 2020, and the total value of eggs produced rose 3.9% to $1.6 billion. As a result, the average value of eggs produced increased from $1.91 per dozen in 2019 to $1.94 per dozen in 2020. The average value of eggs represents the total value of egg production divided by the net production of eggs.

The higher average value of eggs matches the increase in the monthly farm price of eggs. In 2019, the monthly average price for eggs paid to farmers ranged from 153.5 cents to 163.2 cents per dozen. In 2020, the price ranged from 163.0 cents to 167.8 cents per dozen.

Retail egg prices rose 40.2% from January 2010 to $3.66 per dozen in December 2020, making eggs less expensive than stewing beef ($15.82 per kilogram), pork chops ($11.71 per kilogram) or chicken ($7.64 per kilogram).

Annual per capita availability of eggs for consumption in Canada increased 30.9% from 2010 to 15.24 kilograms in 2019.

The average price of eggs paid to producers rose in every province from 2019 to 2020. Producers in British Columbia received the highest price for their eggs at $2.24 per dozen on average, up 2.3% from 2019. Producers in Prince Edward Island received the lowest price at $1.69 per dozen, up 4.7%.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Production of eggs
Production of eggs

  Note to readers

In this release, poultry meat includes chicken, stewing hen and turkey.

Poultry and egg statistics are available for Canada and the provinces.

Annual data on poultry and egg production are available for 2020.

Data on frozen eggs and poultry meats include chicken, turkey, and duck stocks, as well as stocks of egg whites, egg yolks, and dried eggs. Data on egg production include production, disposition, home consumption, and egg prices.

Food availability data were taken from the Daily article "Food availability" and table 32-10-0054. These data, which correspond to the amount of a given food available per person, are calculated by dividing the domestic disappearance of food by the Canadian population as of July 1 of the reference year. The domestic disappearance is calculated by removing exports, food going to further manufacturing, waste and ending stocks from the total supply of a commodity (including beginning stocks, imports and production).

Retail price data were taken from the monthly Daily article on the Consumer Price Index, and, specifically, table 18-10-0002. These data are produced as part of the Consumer Price Index Program.

Find more agriculture and food statistics.

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Weekly and monthly data of poultry and egg have been revised back to January 2018, as a result of revisions to administrative data and survey data.

Details are available upon request.

Contact information

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