Americans are eating more pork and beef and less chicken.
The National Chicken Council has predicted that the US chicken sector would generally lose money or break even in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The shift away from chicken has hit Tyson, with its recent quarterly report showing income from chicken fell nearly 34% from a year earlier, while beef operating income was up about 14%.
The USDA says per capita chicken consumption will rise only about 1.2% next year, compared to gains of 4.3% for pork and 2.6% for beef.
Pilgrim’s Pride, a chicken company owned mostly by JBS SA, reported third-quarter net sales fell 3.4% to $2.7 billion.
Prices for US chicken breasts last month fell to their lowest weekly average on record, according to food-service company ArrowStream.
Chicken supplies in cold storage facilities reached a record at more than 435 million kg at the end of September, according to the USDA. Beef and pork supplies in cold storage were about 2% and 10% below records set in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Refrigerated storage company Lineage Logistics said meat was backing up near major US ports due to tariffs, and it projected that rising meat supplies would create a shortage of storage space.
US pork prices have fallen as retaliatory duties of 62% in China and up to 20% in Mexico have curtailed US exports to those countries.