ANALYSIS - Poultry meat output is forecast to be 1.8 per cent above last year, according to an FAO report, which also expects higher cereal harvests and calmer markets. Meetings are taking place on antibiotic use this week ahead of the forthcoming G8 Summit. Outbreaks of H7N3 bird flu are still occurring in Mexico.
With the world cereal harvest forecast to surge to a record 2,460 million tonnes in 2013, cereal prices could ease this year, with markets becoming calmer, according to the latest Food Outlook report from FAO.
On the prospects for meat production, the report says that feed ingredient prices began to fall during the second half of 2012 and continued to diminish during 2013, which “offers greater scope for profitable meat production, particularly in the pig and poultry sectors”.
FAO estimates global poultry meat production to have been 104.6 million tonnes in 2012, rising to a forecast 106.4 million tonnes this year – an increase of 1.8 per cent.
Poultry meat trade is expected to increase 1.5 per cent from last year to 13.3 million tonnes in 2013, according to the report.
The use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are part of the key discussions for science ministers and scientific academy leaders this week ahead of the G8 summit in the UK.
The Minister of Agriculture has announced that a ban on beak-trimming of laying hens in the Netherlands has been brought forward to 2018. She will be urging the same for all EU members at forthcoming meetings in Brussels so that the Dutch industry is not at a competitive disadvantage to its European neighbours.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has joined the mounting global call to end food waste.
And finally, on bird flu news, the Mexican authorities have reported eight new outbreaks of H7N3 highly pathogenic avian flu across four states between mid-April and the third week of May; more than 1.1 million birds were affected and 815,000 of them were destroyed. Recent research in ducks and falcons sheds new light in the spread of the bird flu virus.