Of that global spending metric, $18.4 billion (73.3%) was for imported frozen poultry meat. In comparison, $6.7 billion (26.7%) encompasses international spending on imports of fresh or chilled chicken imports.
The value of globally imported frozen chicken increased by an average 21.3% since 2017 when frozen chicken meat shipments were valued at $15.2 billion. From 2020 to 2021, imported frozen poultry accelerated by 12.6%. In contrast, imports of fresh or chilled chicken increased at a much slower pace (up 4.3% compared to $6.4 billion during 2017) but accelerated in value by a faster 19.6% year over year.
From a continental perspective, Asia bought 59.5% of frozen chicken imports but just 6.2% of imported fresh or chilled chicken. In contrast, importers in Europe bought 78.9% of all imported fresh or chilled chicken compared to 16.4% of frozen chicken. North American buyers imported 14% of the global subtotal for fresh or chilled chicken and 3.1% for frozen poultry meat.
African importers generated 11.9% of international frozen chicken purchases versus 0.6% of fresh or chilled poultry. For Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, the percentages are 8.2% for frozen chicken versus 0.2%.
Another smaller continental player for importing chicken is distant Oceania led by Australia at 0.8% for frozen product compared to a miniscule 0.06% for fresh or chilled poultry.
For research purposes, the six-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code prefixes are 020711 for whole fresh or chilled chicken, 020713 for fresh or chilled chicken cuts and offal, 020712 for whole frozen chicken and 020714 for frozen chicken cuts and offal.
Chicken Imports by Country: Fresh
Below are the 15 buyer countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of fresh or chilled chicken during 2021, encompassing both whole chicken and cut pieces.
- Germany: US$897.3 million (13.4% of imported fresh/chilled chicken)
- France: $872.9 million (13%)
- United Kingdom: $836.3 million (12.5%)
- Netherlands: $761.6 million (11.3%)
- Mexico: $658.1 million (9.8%)
- Belgium: $342.7 million (5.1%)
- Hong Kong: $245.2 million (3.7%)
- Russia: $180.6 million (2.7%)
- Czech Republic: $133.4 million (2%)
- Austria: $130.9 million (2%)
- Ireland: $124.2 million (1.9%)
- Slovakia: $95.9 million (1.4%)
- Switzerland: $82.4 million (1.2%)
- Hungary: $81.5 million (1.2%)
- Italy: $74.3 million (1.1%)
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing major importers of fresh or chilled chicken since 2017 were: Mexico (up 70.2%), Netherlands (up 47.4%), France (up 42.5%), Belgium (up 42%) and Hong Kong (up 41.4%).
Ireland was the lone top buyer to post a decline in its imports of fresh or chilled chicken purchases dragged down by a -32.8% reduction.
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 82.2% of all fresh/chilled chicken imported in 2021.
Top Chicken Imports by Country: Frozen
Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of frozen chicken during 2021.
- China: US$3.5 billion (18.8% of imported frozen chicken)
- Japan: $1.2 billion (6.5%)
- Saudi Arabia: $1.15 billion (6.3%)
- United Arab Emirates: $803.1 million (4.4%)
- Iraq: $495 million (2.7%)
- Hong Kong: $419.4 million (2.3%)
- Ghana: $406.7 million (2.2%)
- France: $349 million (1.9%)
- United Kingdom: $344.9 million (1.9%)
- Netherlands: $331.1 million (1.8%)
- Cuba: $329.9 million (1.8%)
- Germany: $329.9 million (1.8%)
- South Africa: $317.3 million (1.7%)
- United States: $279.1 million (1.5%)
- South Korea: $269.1 million (1.5%)
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing importers of frozen chicken since 2017 were: Ghana (up 245.8%), mainland China (up 237.6%), United States of America (up 77.3%) and South Korea (up 36.1%).
Those major buyers that posted the severest declines in their imported frozen chicken purchases were: Hong Kong (down -63.9%), United Kingdom (down -34.2%), South Africa (down -28.4%), Iraq (down -24.2%) then Japan (down -10.8%).
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 57% of all frozen chicken imported in 2021.
See also Chicken Exports by Country, Fresh or Frozen Beef Imports by Country, Pork Exports by Country and Goat Meat Exports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Imports – Commodities. Accessed on August 3, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 3, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 3, 2022