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Broiler chick placings point to market improvement

graphic of chicken meat

IN October, the broiler sector appeared to overcome some of its recent difficulties and rallied again after three months of more subdued activity.

Day-old chick placings in October recorded an increase over the same month last year, as well as over October 2019, for the first time since June (see chart below).

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At this stage, the renewed expansion remains relatively modest compared with the first half of this year.

In October, total chick numbers came to 113 million, just a million more than a year ago, and around half a million more than the year before.

It came in the wake of three months when total chick placings had shown a significant year-on-year decline in July, August and September.

The cumulative fall over the period was 12.5m chicks, or 4%, compared with 2020.

By contrast, in the first half of this year, chick numbers had been up by nearly 24m, an average rise over the six months of 4%.

So that still leaves the UK broiler sector in net growth for the year to October, by 12.25m or 1.2%