Rabobank: Chicken consumption up in Japan

Domestic supply was down slightly during 2023, and a ban on Brazilian poultry put limitations on imports for the year.

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Chicken consumption in Japan was up 1.6% during the third quarter of 2023, despite a decline in domestic production, according to the most recent Rabobank Global Poultry Quarterly report.

The 1.6% increase in consumption, which excludes processed chicken, was attributed to increased frequency of consumers dining outside of the home. The report also states that due to falling wages, more consumers are opting for chicken as it is more affordable than beef or pork. That trend of thrift is expected to remain throughout the second quarter of 2024.

Demand for breast, thigh meat

According to Rabobank, wholesale prices for thigh meat rose seasonally throughout the final quarter of 2023, but frozen stocks that weren’t sold during the summer, “tempered the rise.” However, breast meat prices have been more reasonably prices. Rabobank expects thigh meat prices to drop in early 2024.


Because the demand for chicken in Japan has been up and the domestic supply has declined, the country has been more reliant on imports. Local chicken production for the fourth quarter was down 0.1% on a year-over-year basis, but for the full year it declined 1%.

Raw chicken imports accounted for about 20% of the total supply, but imports during the fourth quarter fell about 6.8%, largely due to Japan suspending shipments of chicken from Brazil because of avian influenza-related concerns. With the resumption of trade with Brazil, imports for the first quarter of 2024 were expected to increase 22%.

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