Weekly Product Updates

W44: Chicken Update

Frozen Whole Chicken
Published Nov 9, 2023

In W44 in the chicken landscape, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates global chicken meat exports at 14 million metric tons (mmt) in 2024, a 2.91% increase compared to 2023. Brazilian chicken meat exports are expected to grow by 3.72% year-on-year (YoY), maintaining the country's prominent position in the sector with approximately 36% of global exports. Occupying the second position, the United States (US) is on track to contribute less than a quarter of the total global exports.

Notably, global exports have only seen a 7% growth since 2019. The USDA highlights significant declines in several countries since 2019, including the United Kingdom (-44%), Argentina (-40%), the European Union (-20%), and Belarus (-14%). In contrast, Russia has boosted its exports by 30%, China by roughly 24%, Thailand by over 16%, and Turkey by around 15% since 2019. Nevertheless, the cumulative additional volume provided by countries increasing their exports does not even reach half of the added volume projected for Brazil. The USDA expects Brazil’s chicken meat exports to increase by 1.09 mmt in 2024 compared to 2019, a 27.5% rise over a five-year period. If these trends continue into 2024, Brazil's share of global chicken meat exports will surge by almost 20% compared to 2019.

China stands as the world's largest importer of frozen chicken cuts, with imports totaling USD 4.1 billion in 2022. This prominence is fueled by China's vast population and the expanding middle class, which is fostering a growing appetite for poultry offerings. Anticipated shifts in consumer preferences and the appeal of frozen meat's convenience are expected to sustain China's import market for frozen chicken cuts in the coming years.

Japan is the second-largest importer of frozen chicken cuts, recording an import value of USD 1.5 billion in 2022. Despite Japan's relatively small size, its robust consumption of chicken products is driven by a culinary culture that prizes dishes like teriyaki chicken and karaage, enhancing the demand for frozen chicken cuts. Moreover, the extended shelf life and easy storage of frozen meat make it a favored choice among Japanese consumers.

The Netherlands ranks third, with a 2022 import value of USD 601.7 million for frozen chicken cuts. The Netherlands, with its strategic geographical location and extensive transportation network, serves as a pivotal import and re-export center. It functions as the gateway for distributing frozen chicken cuts to various European countries, underscoring its significance as an import market. Additionally, stringent food safety standards and quality controls guarantee the importation of secure and high-quality poultry products.

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture has recommended the establishment of a duty-free import quota for various types of chicken meat in 2024, with a total allocation of up to 160 thousand metric tons (mt). This proposal aims to address the rising demand for chicken meat and eggs, ensuring stable pricing and an adequate supply within the domestic market. Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture suggests implementing a temporary ban on the export of these products. This export ban is expected to be effective from December 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024.

Lastly, the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) reported positive signs of competition in the Malaysian market following the removal of subsidies and price controls on chicken on November 1. MyCC observed an uninterrupted chicken supply, with prices ranging from USD 1.40 to 2.37 per kilogram (kg) during the first two days of this transition. Nonetheless, MyCC remains vigilant and committed to monitoring the situation for any indications of anti-competitive behavior, emphasizing that the removal of subsidies and price ceilings should not lead to market exploitation. They are working closely with relevant ministries to detect and respond to signs of market distortion, particularly cartel activities. 

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