Rabobank Global Poultry Quarterly Q4 2016: Avian Influenza Concerns Rise Again

The outlook for the global poultry industry in 2017, which is generally positive, is now being challenged by a new wave of avian influenza (AI) outbreaks. This is a most unwelcome development in a global market that was just recovering from the negative impact of the 2015 AI crisis.

New outbreaks—just at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere winter season, when risk is usually high—certainly have the potential to shake up global market conditions in 2017—both in meat trade and breeding stock trade. This adverse development comes at the same time the industry has started reporting better results, and given the favourable fundamentals. The industry currently has strong market balances in most regions and ongoing low costs, despite pressure from declining red meat prices.

An unwelcome return

The return of avian influenza (AI) is now shaking up global trade conditions and is especially affecting the outlook for Asia, Europe and Africa. It will also be a test for the US industry, after last year’s multiple AI outbreaks. As many European and Asian countries are exporters of meat and breeding stock, this will certainly impact the outlook for the industry, and could shake up meat and breeder trade again.

More differentiation

The rise of chicken concepts will lead to a more differentiated chicken market and also to changing supply and trade conditions. For example in the EU this will lead to increasing standard chicken production in Eastern Europe, with concepts becoming more important in Western Europe and the US.

China’s supply remains tight

The ongoing Chinese supply shortage will continue to affect global market conditions. Imports to China and Hong Kong are expected to remain high, benefiting countries that are allowed to export directly to China, while Chinese consumers will continue to face high prices for specific preferred products, such as feet and wings. The Industry is working on new strategic sourcing initiatives to alleviate some of this supply pressure.

Trade volumes under pressure

Pressured global trade volumes are expected next year, given a continuation of high AI impacts and increasing trade protectionism. China’s import demand and the possibility of improved relations between the US and Russia are promising, but lower support for TTIP and TPP will have adverse impacts.

For information please contact the report’s author:

Nan-Dirk Mulder: nan-dirk.mulder@rabobank.com, Tel: +31 30 71 23822

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