Slow expansion in the global poultry market
2020 was characterized by the slowest growth in poultry production seen in the last 60 years, says the Meat Market Review 2020 launched recently by FAO. 133.3 million tonnes of chicken meat were produced in the year, a volume that, compared to 2019, represented an increase of 1.3% - the lowest annual growth rate recorded since 1960.
Even so, the result obtained represented an important achievement in the face of the challenging environment that involved production and trade with the occurrence of the pandemic and the record of cases of Avian Influenza in Europe and Asia. The relative accessibility of chicken meat and the shorter production cycle were the two critical factors that allowed chicken meat to perform better than beef and pork, both on decline.
The biggest increases in chicken meat production occurred in China, the USA and Brazil. It is estimated that this was driven by the increased demand generated by the shortage and high prices of pork, Chinese chicken meat production has increased by more than 5% - something that was only possible thanks to the new investments that flowed into the sector from 2019.
In the USA there was a parallel, but marginal, increase in the number of heads slaughtered and the average weight of these birds. But the sector has also benefited from a pandemic-specific government assistance program aimed at producers of agricultural commodities.
In Brazil, production increased 1.6% and reached an estimated 14.3 million tons - despite the increase in the cost of basic inputs and market interruptions, both internal and external. What helped this growth were Asian and Middle Eastern imports and the sustained purchasing power of the domestic consumer, maintained mainly by government cash transfers to families as a result of the pandemic.
The largest decline in poultry production was reported by Indonesia (-12%), followed by India (-10.9%).
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