Capturing the majority of growth in total meat production to 367 million metric tons in the next 10 years, poultry meat production is forecast to rise from nearly 123 million metric tons in 2018 to about 139 million metric tons by 2027 (Figure 1). Growth will be driven by the fact that its short production cycle allows producers to respond quicker than other meats to market demands, while also enabling quicker improvements in genetics, animal health and feeding practices, according to the latest Agricultural Outlook projections by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In comparison, pig meat production is forecast at 130.9 million metric tons, beef and veal production at nearly 79.3 million metric tons, and sheep meat at just 17.4 million metric tons by 2027 (Figure 2). However, poultry meat production will still have seen its greatest gains over the past decade compared to the next decade, with the greatest gains in production volume seen in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010, slowing through 2017 and generally over the outlook period to 2027. Growth from 2017 to 2018, according to FAO, can be partially attributed to many avian influenza outbreaks worldwide in 2017 and the fact that it is now under control, particularly in China (Figure 3). 

Poultry meat production stats around the world

As the market sits currently, FAO estimates the majority of poultry meat production comes from the regions of Asia, North and South America, and Europe (Figure 4). These regions hold key market players China, the U.S., Brazil and the European Union. Over the long-term for individual countries, China, followed by the U.S., Brazil and India are also projected to contribute the greatest amount of additional poultry meat by 2027 compared to their average in the base period 2015-17 (Figure 5).

According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. broiler production is estimated to increase from nearly 41.7 billion pounds in 2017 to 42.6 billion pounds in 2018, and is projected at nearly 43.4 billion pounds in 2019. Turkey production is set to fall slightly from 5.98 billion pounds in 2017 to 5.93 pounds in 2018, then recover to levels just slightly higher than 2017 by 2019 (Table 1). After falling from 2015 to 2016 according to a USDA report, Brazil’s poultry production is also set to increase for the second year in a row from 12.9 million metric tons in 2016 to nearly 13.2 million metric tons in 2017 to almost 13.4 million metric tons in 2018 (Figure 6).

In the EU, production gains will be supported by a production of surplus grains and stronger domestic demand, as exports will grow at a slower rate in this region due to exchange rates, according to OECD-FAO. In 2017, Poland, Turkey, the U.K. and Spain were among the top member-state poultry meat producers. These countries contributed nearly 2.3, 2.2, 1.8 and 1.5 million metric tons of poultry meat respectively in the previous year, according to Eurostat (Figure 7).