2023: Ups and downs for Latin American poultry production

Both chicken and eggs are the main source of animal protein for Latin Americans, with Brazil and Mexico leading the way in production.

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Anuwat Donkiewpri

I just finished the research I carry out every year on poultry production in Latin America by country. I am very fortunate in receiving the data from all of the poultry producers associations in the region, with the exception of Nicaragua’s association which no longer exists.

Comparing year over year gives a good indication of how things are going. Well, 2023 is the second year in a row that chicken production in Latin America has shrunk. In 2022, I reported in WATT Poultry International that the region produced 12,255.63 million broilers in 2021, a 2.42% increase over 2020. Ever since, production has been declining. In 2022, the region produced 11,909.39 million broilers, a 2.83% decrease compared to 2021. The trend continues in 2023, with a 1.22% decrease over 2022.

Obviously, Brazil has a major impact because it is the largest Latin American producer. In 2021, the country reported production of 6,176 million broilers. By 2023, this number had gone down to 5,629 million. This difference of almost 550 million birds – which is more than double the production of any of the 12 lowest producing countries – affects the regional total. Of these 12 countries, Venezuela reported an increase of almost 20%, with 258 million birds.

However, it is not only Brazil; three out of the top five countries – Colombia, Peru and Argentina – have also reported decreases in production in 2023. Mexico was the only country that reported an increase – 6.04% over 2022.

Egg production is a different story. Measured in terms of population of layers in production, it has increased almost 8% in this same period. I reported that in 2021 there were 508.36 million layers producing eggs in the region. As of last year – 2023 – the region had around 550 million birds, a number that may vary a couple of million birds as soon as I receive confirmation from one country.

In layer population, Mexico – the main regional producer – has been steady, with 170.8 million laying hens. But Brazil, with 130.66 million layers, has registered an outstanding growth, particularly from 2022 to 2023, of 14.6%. As a country with almost 100 million more people than Mexico, the potential to also become the largest egg producer in Latin America is huge.

Colombia, with 51.33 million hens, and Argentina, with 53.11 million hens, are also fighting their way up with increases of 3.28% and 2.89% respectively in 2023. Worth mentioning is Venezuela, with a 12.2% increase year over year, with a total of 14.16 million layers.

What do you think?

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