Global broiler production is forecast to increase 2.5 percent to 83.1 million metric tons, driven by strong domestic demand in China and Brazil, according to the “Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade” report issued by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) this month. Growth in production will be slower than the previous two years (5.5 percent in 2010 and 3.4 percent in 2011) given the rising cost of feed and a slowdown in U.S. production, FAS said.

U.S. broiler production is forecast to be 16.603 million tons next year, ahead of the second largest broiler producer China, which is only slightly above Brazil.  U.S. broiler production will have increased 2.3 percent from 2007 to 2012 if the forecast for next year proves accurate.  By comparison, for the same time period, Chinese broiler production will have increased 22.2 percent and Brazil’s broiler production will have increase 32.0 percent.  On a percentage basis, Russian broiler production will have risen the most of any major country with a 95.0 percent increase from 2007 to 2012.

Additional information about broiler production from the report is as follows:

  • Brazil  and China are both forecast up 5 percent to 13.6 and 13.8 million tons respectively.  Both countries are driven by stronger domestic demand, greater disposable income, economic growth, an expanding middle class, and competitive prices that favor poultry over red meats.  Brazil is also benefiting from more stable production costs because of ample feed supplies.
  • Chinese expansion is supported by lower rates of reported disease and improving economies of scale through continuing vertical integration.  Rising broiler meat prices will be more than offset by relatively high feed costs.  A larger inventory of grandparent-generation breeding broilers is paving the way for expanded and more efficient commercial production.
  • Russian broiler production is being driven higher by subsidized feed costs, import restrictions, and continued investment in the industry.  Russian production will likely be 9 percent higher to 2.8 million metric tons in 2012.  Continuing reduction in tariff rates quota volumes will limit imports; therefore, supporting elevated prices for domestic producers.
  • Minor supplies see increased global demand boosting these output.  Robust profitability, strong investment, and rising domestic, and foreign demand has stimulated production in Argentina, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

Broiler production for major countries from 2007 to forecast 2012 is as follows:

Broiler Meat Selected Countries Summary
1,000 Metric Tons (Ready to Cook Equivalent)
     Total Foreign53,94657,01958,37361,83464,27666,471
     United States16,22616,56115,93516,56316,75716,603
* estimated **forecast

World broiler exports in 2012 should reach 9.596 million tons, 4.8 percent more than the 9.153 million tons estimated for 2011 and 29.4 percent above the 7.413 million tons in 2007.  Next year, Brazil will again be the leading world broiler exporter with 3.465 million tons followed by the United States with 3.039 million tons.  FAS does not foresee any of the major exporters slipping in sales in 2012.

Selected broiler trade highlights from the report are as follows:

  • Stronger global exports are being supported by greater demand from emerging markets, most notably the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Sub Saharan Africa.
  • U.S. exports are forecast in 2012  to rebound 2 percent to 3.0 million tons as growth is expected in the Mexican and Asian markets (South Korea and Hong Kong). Mounting demand from emerging markets, particularly in Sub Saharan Africa, will continue to support expanded shipments.  Exports to Russia, however, are constrained and are likely to decline because of  the lower tariff rate quota quantity.
  • Brazil remains the leading exporter climbing 5 percent to 3.5 million tons. The Middle East will be the primary driver for export expansion, fueled by anticipated economic growth and a rising population. Brazil is able to ship significant quantities of whole birds as well as halal products. Brasil Foods, the largest poultry processor and exporter, is constructing a processing plant in the United Arab Emirates that is expected to generate demand for imports. Shipments to Venezuela are expected to expand, despite commercial challenges.
  • The EU is forecast at 1.1 million tons, up 2 percent. Additional expansion of exports is limited by high feed costs, escalating competition, and fading shipments to Russia because of the lower tariff rate quota volume.
  • China and Thailand continue to be constrained by disease-related restrictions and thus are limited to shipping prepared-preserved products. Key destinations for China are likely to remain Japan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. In addition to Asian markets, Thailand will continue to benefit from its access to the European Union. China and Thailand are expected to grow 9 percent to 445,000 and 500,000 metric tons respectively.
  • Turkey gains 27 percent to 193,000 metric tons, primarily on Middle East demand (Iraq and Iran) as domestic production continues to grow, generating more exportable supplies.

Broiler exports for major countries for 2007 to forecast 2012 are as follows:

Broiler Meat Selected Countries Summary
1,000 Metric Tons (Ready to Cook Equivalent)
Total Exports
     Total Foreign4,7355,3025,2165,8406,1876,557
     United States2,6783,1573,0933,0692,9663,039
Note: Chicken paws are excluded                                                             * estimated **forecast

The FAS report is available at