Global meat production has risen by almost 20 percent over the last 10 years, a large part of which can be attributed to poultry. In 2015, the world is projected to produce nearly 112 million metric tons of poultry meat, but this figure is projected by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to surpass pig meat production over the outlook period – reaching almost 134 million metric tons by 2024.
Poultry meat will capture more than half of the world’s share of additional meat produced by 2024, compared to the base period production in 2012-14. Poultry’s short production cycle compared to the other meats enables producers to respond quickly to increased profitability, while also making rapid improvements in genetics, animal health and feeding practices. In general, production will also benefit from both improved meat-to-feed price margins as well as better feed conversion ratios in the next decade, according to FAO.
The poultry market outlook remains positive over the next decade, in spite of forecasts for weaker economic growth in both developing and developed countries limiting consumption growth. FAO partially attributes this growth to feed grain costs that are expected to remain lower, restoring profitability for producers. Output growth will be supported by increased meat consumption globally as diets shift toward greater protein intake and rising incomes. Steady global economic growth will support longer-term gains in world poultry production and consumption. Economic growth is particularly important in developing countries because food consumption and feed use are particularly responsive to income growth in those countries.
Much of the production growth will come from China, which is expected to produce nearly 5 million metric tons of poultry more in 2024 compared to the base period. Southeast Asia is expected to account for more than 36 percent of the increase in global poultry production by 2024. But, the region’s producers will look to become more efficient through greater integration, the formation of more cooperatives and more consolidation across the region. As producers gain efficiencies, the size of chickens produced in Asia is likely to rise over the outlook period. The greatest increase in size is projected to come from Indonesia and Thailand, according to Cobb data. Thailand has the most integrated poultry industry, where 85 percent of standard broiler production is produced by integrated companies. In most of these countries, however, this number falls below 60 percent; in Myanmar, for example, integrated production is just about 25 percent. The Asian region as a whole continues to be hampered by the large proportion of chickens sold through wet markets, so more consolidation and modernization here would not only improve the supply and demand balance but also help to improve traceability and food safety.
Main poultry producing countries continue to add to growth
Notably, the main producing regions of the U.S., Brazil and the European Union as a whole will continue to contribute to the increased poultry production by 2024. Brazil continues to dominate meat production in developing countries; over the outlook period, the country’s production growth will benefit from an abundant supply of natural resources, feed availability and productivity gains.
Within Europe, Poland was the largest poultry meat producer, contributing 2.56 million metric tons of the region’s gross domestic production in 2014. This compares to the second-largest producing country in the region, France, which added 1.835 million metric tons to the 2014 total, followed by Germany (1.785 million metric tons), U.K. (1.59 million metric tons) and Spain (1.39 million metric tons). Russia has also been increasing its production over the past year as it both extended the length of its trade ban and added to the number of countries involved in the ban on imports over economic sanctions.
In 2014 and into 2015, the United States suffered a large outbreak of avian influenza that primarily affected layer and turkey operations, hurting production in the short term. In its September 2015 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its 2015 and 2016 production amounts for broiler production and turkey production from the previous August 2015 report. Egg production is projected to be lower in 2015 and 2016 than the 8.3 million dozen eggs produced in 2014 due to a slower-than-expected recovery in table egg production and lower hatching egg production, according to USDA. USDA’s long-term agricultural projections do show a recovery in all three sectors of production in the U.S. over the next decade, however growth in young chicken, turkey and egg production is expected to slow to just over 1 percent over the previous year by 2024.
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