Robust demand for inexpensive animal protein limits AI trade restrictions.
WASHINGTON – Global broiler meat production is forecast at 89.5 million tons, up 1 percent, despite recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report.


Outbreaks of HPAI have been widespread with cases reported in Asia, Europe, the United States and Russia. FAS said the outbreaks will likely weigh on expansion of broiler meat production, but the impact of HPAI-related trade restrictions will be limited. Strong demand for low-cost animal protein has pushed leading importing countries to implement regional bans in favor of blanket bans of broiler meat products from affected countries.

Additionally, FAS expects increased production in Brazil, the US, the European Union and India will more than offset production declines in China, which is struggling with multiple strains of avian influenza.

Brazil gains the most

Brazil’s share of global exports of broiler meat is expected to climb 10 percent to 4.3 million tons despite phytosanitary concerns spurred by an anticorruption probe into dozens of meat packers. FAS said Brazil’s status as an HPAI-free country will translate to robust demand for Brazilian products with Asia leading the pack.

US exports of broiler meat products are forecast at 3.1 million tons, up 4 percent, on strong global demand. However, EU exports of broiler meat are forecast at 1.2 million tons, down 8 percent, due to HPAI-related trade restrictions impacting many EU member countries.

Growth in shipments by Brazil and the US are expected to lift global exports of broiler meat to 11.2 million tons, an increase of 4 percent, FAS said.

Asia to drive demand

Chinese imports of broiler meat are forecast up nearly 40 percent to 600,000 tons, FAS said, as Chinese production of broilers continues to fall due to outbreaks of multiple strains of avian influenza. Additionally, HPAI-related trade restrictions on the US and EU has hindered China’s ability to acquire adequate supplies of poultry genetics, thus weighing on poultry industry recovery in China, FAS noted. These factors mean that China will fill demand for broiler meat products partially with imports.

South Korea also is expected to increase imports of broiler meat by 13 percent to 145,000 tons. Headwinds for the country’s domestic poultry production include transportation restrictions in HPAI quarantine zones and a decline in parental stock resulting from depopulating flocks.

Japan is expected to remain the leading global importer of broiler meat at 960,000 tons for 2017, FAS reported, while Mexico will come in second with 825,000 tons of broiler meat imports.