BROILER production was still expanding strongly during May.
For the third consecutive month, UK placings of day-olds showed confident growth compared to the same period of last year.
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May itself demonstrated the sharpest expansion yet, with an extra 5.8m chicks placed year on year.
In percentage terms, at 6.6% year-on-year, this is at the high end of what the industry typically achieves. The previous two months had shown growth at around 4%.
This expansion in chick numbers that began in March has now completed its growing cycle and has started to appear in the production figures.
Total chicken output in May showed a year-on-year rise for the first time this year, by 2,740 tonnes compared with May 2020, amounting to an increase of 1.7%.
However, production since the start of this year is still lagging well behind a year ago.
The combined total for the first five months of the year was down 12,88 tonnes, or 1.7% overall.
The turkey sector had a difficult month in May. According to Defra’s figures, day-old poults fell by a disappointing 41% compared with May last year, with poult numbers dropping from 970,000 to 570,000.
This has turned around what had previously been an encouraging performance during 2021, and leaves the sector 3.4% down for the first five months of this year.