Argentine poultry exports for 2009 are expected at 106,000 tons, significantly smaller than earlier projected, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, GAIN Report, published on March 13, 2009.

Production will be similar to last year reflecting a strong contraction over what the local industry was prepared for. Domestic consumption is forecast to increase marginally at 1.33 million tons.

Argentine poultry meat exports in 2009 are forecast at 106,000 tons, of which the majority is whole frozen broilers. Local exporters are confident they will be able to maintain a reasonable level of exports, especially once the traditional buyers lower their stocks. After a sudden halt in exports in the last part of 2008 and the first part of 2009, traders are already seeing signs of reactivation. They even report that FOB prices are slowly moving upwards.

They also indicate that final export volumes will depend on world events and the evolution of the global financial crisis. Venezuela, Chile, Middle East and Africa are the main markets for whole broilers. Cuts go primarily to Chile, Russia and the EU. Based on official data, Argentina exported 33,839 tons of chicken paws (not included in PSD exports), ten percent higher than in 2007.

Domestic consumption is expected to reach 1.33 million tons, slightly higher than the previous year. Most players foresee an economic slowdown which will hurt overall consumption. However, poultry producers expect higher domestic beef prices, making consumers shift to less expensive poultry products.