RABOBANK has painted a positive picture of global poultry markets, reporting that consumption is growing and many markets are demonstrating “disciplined supply growth”.

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After four years of highly disruptive conditions, global poultry markets are moving toward more “normal” market conditions, Rabobank’s latest analysis says.

Despite a 2% increase in global chicken prices, it remains a competitively priced protein option, as prices of pork and beef have increased by 4% and 5%, respectively.

However, operations remain a critical area of focus for producers, according to Nan-Dirk Mulder, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein at Rabobank.

Feed prices

Feed prices have hit their lowest point after two years of decline, and have increased for the first time in two years (+1%) due to weaker-than-expected harvest predictions in Brazil, North America, and Europe.

Mr Mulder said a strong emphasis on procuring feed ingredients and optimising feed formulations would be necessary, particularly considering the risk of a La Niña season on global crop harvests, which could affect major grain producers.

The EU and the US are performing well this year, with relatively strong demand, controlled production growth, and rising prices, he added.

Global trade

In Q1 2024, global poultry trade dropped by 5% YOY, with a 40% reduction in Chinese imports being a notable cause.

“The weak and oversupplied domestic chicken market in China was the primary driver behind this significant drop in trade.

“Key exporters to China – Brazil, the US, and Russia – have all felt this decline,” said Mr Mulder.

“We expect that these countries will seek alternative markets to offset the impact of reduced Chinese trade, particularly affecting chicken feet and leg markets.”

Additionally, the new EU import quota for Ukraine will impact global trade in breast meat and whole chicken, particularly as Ukraine will increasingly look for alternative markets.