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USDA GAIN: Poultry and Products


20 March 2012

USDA GAIN: China Poultry & Products Semi-annualUSDA GAIN: China Poultry & Products Semi-annual

The Office of the Agricultural Affairs in Beijing (OAA/Beijing) revised its 2012 forecast for China’s broiler meat production downward to 13.7 million metric tons (MMT). The slight downward revision is attributable to a decline in average slaughter weight. OAA/Beijing also revised both the consumption and import forecasts downward to 13.5 MMT and 233,000 MT, respectively. The revised forecasts largely reflect reduced consumer demand for broiler meat in the face of falling pork prices, which is the traditional animal protein favored by consumers.

USDA GAIN: Poultry and Products

Production:

OAA/Beijing revised the 2012 forecast for broiler meat production downward to 13.7 million metric tons (MMT), which is 70,000 MT lower than the initial estimate. The slight downward revision is attributable to a decline in average slaughter weight. Trade sources noted that China's imports of grandparent generation birds increased 17 percent to 1.1 million sets in 2011; but, the bulk of these imports arrived during the last quarter of 2011 when pork prices began to decline from record high levels. In China, broiler meat is the main substitute for pork. When pork prices fell, concerns regarding oversupply, weak demand, and declining prices for broiler meats spurred some producers to slaughter birds prematurely, resulting in lower average slaughter weights.

Consumption:

OAA/Beijing revised the forecast for broiler consumption downward to 13.5 MMT, a decrease of 87,000 MT (less than 1 percent). As noted above, when pork prices declined, so did demand for broiler meat. The decision by Hong Kong to suspend imports of live birds for 21 days during the December 2011 to January 2012 period due to an influenza outbreak (H5N1) did not appear to cause concern among mainland Chinese consumers or impact consumption.

Trade:

OAA/Beijing revised the import forecast to 233,000 MT, a decrease of 17,000 MT from the initial estimate. Imports are no longer forecast to increase due to lower consumer demand for broiler meat stemming from a decline in pork prices. China’s export forecast remains unchanged.

Policy:

In March 2012, Canada approved market access for ten Chinese cooked-poultry processing plants. There have been no shipments to date. OAA/Beijing will continue to monitor and report on this new development.

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