Japan broiler production to rise in 2024 - GAIN

Broiler population up 2%, layers down 6%
calendar icon 15 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Japan’s chicken production will rise in 2024 to meet strong demand led by tourist consumption in the foodservice sector, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report. Increased chicken imports are needed to replenish depleted 2023 ending stocks.

Higher productions costs are due in part to relatively higher feed import costs which result from the weak yen exchange rate. Nevertheless, USDA's Food and Agricultural Service forecasts that 2023 chicken production will be just below 2022 production since slaughter of spent hens declined owing to the impact of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in Japan in the winter 2022 season. 

Poultry consumption strengthens in 2023 and 2024 as it is driven both by consumer preferences for cheaper meat products and by growth of the food service sector as tourism surges. To meet the growth in demand, traders will import more in 2024 than in 2023, when a large volume of stocks needed to be drawn down.

Japan’s poultry operators suffered from serious outbreaks of HPAI in the 2022 winter season (October 2022 – May 2023). The reported number of cases totalled 84, which resulted in the culling of about 18 million birds, of which 93% were table egg layers. According to the latest statistics published by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), as of February 1, 2023, the broiler population was up 2% but layer population down 6% year on year.

Since HPAI did not hit broiler operations as hard as layers, Japan’s chicken meat production in the first half of 2023 held steady at 2022 levels, which was already at a historical high.

The poultry industry continues to consolidate as operators seek efficiency to counter rising production costs. As of February 1, 2023, many small broiler farms had ceased operation, but large-size operations of 300,000 or more birds grew in number.

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