Global poultry production set to leap forward, say experts

By Keith Nuthall

- Last updated on GMT

The FAO noted the advantages poultry had in terms of output growth
The FAO noted the advantages poultry had in terms of output growth

Related tags: Meat, Livestock

Worldwide poultry production will surge ahead in the next nine years, accounting for 28.3 million tonnes (mt) of the additional 57.7mt annual meat production projected from 2011-13 to 2023, according to a new global projection.

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014, a medium-term agricultural report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said pigmeat will account for just 16.6mt of this growth. Production of bovine meat (9mt) and sheepmeat (3.8mt) will grow at significantly slower rates.

The report stressed poultry’s advantages regarding output growth: smaller land requirements, enabling production to be located near population centres, and a shorter production cycle, which "enables a quicker response from producers in adapting to profitability conditions".

The paper noted that, overall, meat prices have been at historically high levels since 2011 – and are currently 90% higher than in 2004, reflecting higher feed costs, which have more than doubled over the past decade.

It added that while a rapid fall in feed stocks in 2013 has "set the stage for renewed profitability in the meat sector, supply growth is hampered by tighter sanitary and environmental regulations, and sustained costs of energy, water and labour".

Emerging-market growth in demand is counterbalanced by falling or stagnant demand in rich countries, it argued. As a result, global meat production rose just over 1% in 2013, with stronger growth in sheepmeat and pigmeat, and weaker growth in bovine meat and poultry, where production rose just 0.5% – the sector’s weakest increase in the past 20 years.

Current problems hampering global meat industry growth included the continued relatively high cost of feed, falls in mainland China demand following renewed outbreaks of bird flu, and reductions in pigmeat supplies because of the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus outbreak in the USA.

That said, in the next decade, livestock production will grow faster than crop production, it added.

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