African Swine Fever (ASF) in China is expected to increase demand for other proteins besides pork, including poultry. With recent forecasts suggesting Chinese pork production could fall by over 10 million tonnes, other proteins will be needed to fill the supply gap.
Chinese production will likely increase and reports already show growing poultry feed demand. However, breeding stock availability is currently limited. Most traditional suppliers of grandparent stock are banned due to Avian Influenza controls. Although Poland was re-opened towards the end of 2018, this will not support production until the end of this year.
Increased import levels are also expected, with market access recently opening to a number of countries. Official trade data records Chinese imports of fresh/frozen poultry already increasing 40% (+42,000 tonnes) year on year in the first quarter. This compares with a 3% increase in fresh/frozen pork (+10,000 tonnes). When offal is included, pig meat imports have actually fallen by 8%, driven by a fall in offal shipments from the US. It is probable that pork import demand will pick up more significantly later in the year. With tightening protein supplies, poultry imports may also grow further. The USDA anticipates Chinese chicken meat imports could rise by nearly 70% this year.
Globally, the increased demand from China may help support prices in the global poultry market this year. Rising import demand is also expected from other key importers, including Japan, Mexico and the EU. Global exports are therefore forecast to grow 3% overall, to 11.6 million tonnes. However, developments in global trade restrictions will also be important, and Avian Influenza remains a concern.
The USDA forecasts a 3% rise in chicken meat production in 2019, to a record 98.4 million tonnes. Growing Chinese output (+8%) primarily supports this. More modest increases are expected from other producers, including Brazil (+2%), the EU (+2%), the US (1%), primarily supporting rising domestic consumption in these regions.