Developing countries dominate poultry imports in next decade

World poultry trade is forecast to expand over the next decade as diets in developing countries change and they import more poultry meat.

(kittikorn14 |
(kittikorn14 |

Nearly 11.5 million metric tons of poultry meat will have been exported in 2019, up from nearly 10 million in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As populations, especially in developing countries, rise, USDA projects export volume will grow about 32.5% from just below 12 million metric tons to nearly 16 million metric tons by 2028. Imports around the world are forecast to rise about 34% to about 15.8 million metric tons by the end of the outlook period in 2028. Because meat production growth in developing countries, notably Asia, will remain insufficient to keep on pace with demand growth, these developing regions will continue to drive imports from more developed regions.

Looking ahead to poultry trade market share in 2028, the top five importing and exporting countries still vary, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) latest Agricultural Outlook publication. The top five importers will capture a much more fair share of the market, with the Middle East capturing the most at 13.8%. For global poultry exports, OECD-FAO projects the top exporter, Brazil, to capture 37% of the market and the U.S. second at 22%.

According to USDA, the top exporters in these developed markets remain Brazil, EU, U.S., Thailand, Russia, China and Turkey. However, animal disease outbreaks and concerns over trade policies, as well as consumer preferences, will continue to shape the poultry export market over the outlook period to 2028.

Global poultry meat and egg trade at a glance

Brazil’s top export markets continue to be in the Middle East and Asia, specifically Saudi Arabia, China and Japan. Overall, Brazil’s first-half 2019 exports from all top exporters make up a combined a 1.4 million metric tons, according to USDA estimates.

Although the Latin American region has increased some meat exports, poultry will remain relatively flat over the next decade compared with the previous one. Latin America and Caribbean countries will continue to be mainly poultry importers.

In North America, the U.S. continues to be one of the leading traders of poultry around the world. The country is forecast by USDA to increase exports of broilers and turkeys to 7.25 billion and 630 million pounds, ready-to-cook, respectively, for 2020. With avian influenza under control, U.S. egg imports continue to be steady, while exports of eggs are projected to fall only slightly by 2020 from levels three years’ prior.


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