WASHINGTON – In 2012, broiler consumption in China is forecast to be on average 10 kilograms (22 lbs.) per person – unchanged from 2011, but up one kilogram from 2010, according to the latest poultry GAIN report from the Beijing office of US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). In 2010, total broiler consumption would likely reach 13.555 million metric tons, according to the Oct. 7 edition of the National Chicken Council’s Washington Report. Both per capita and total consumption exclude “claws” (feet-paws), FAS stated.

FAS forecasted China’s broiler meat imports in 2012 to decline 13 percent to 200,000 tons (not including chicken claws), following an estimated 20 percent decline this year. The decline is mainly attributed to the anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) on US broiler product exports to China.

In both 2011 and 2012, chicken claw imports will continue to dominate China’s total broiler product imports, accounting for more than two-thirds of China’s total broiler product imports. Claw imports in 2011 are forecast at nearly 300,000 tons, a 42 percent decline from 2010, as a result of the anti-dumping and countervailing measures against US exports to China.

In 2012, Chinese broiler meat imports from the US (not including chicken claws) are forecast to drop 20 percent to an estimated 24,000 tons following an expected 51 percent decline in 2011. Chicken claw imports from the US are forecast to decline 15 percent to 21,500 tons following a 75 percent decline estimated for 2011. US product including broiler meat and claws in 2009 accounted for 85 percent of China’s total broiler product imports. The US share is currently only 10 percent. Limited volumes of US claw shipments will continue because of the AD and CVD duties and in spite of strong market prices in China.

Higher shipments from South America cannot completely offset sharply lower imports from the United States because of capacity limitations on South American product. In addition, traders are reporting that quality is sometimes uneven on South American product compared to other suppliers. With tighter import supplies due to the AD/CVD duties against US exports to China, broiler import prices have risen markedly.