Marginal growth projected for Thai chicken production

High production costs slow expansion
calendar icon 2 January 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Thailand’s chicken meat production grew by 2% in the first half of 2023 compared to January- June of 2022, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

Feed grains constituted 60–70% of total production costs in the first half of 2023 and jumped 11% from the same period in 2022 due to continuing production and supply disruptions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, the average price of day-old chicks in the first half of 2023 fell by 3% relative to the first half of 2022. Consequently, imports of broiler day-old chicks doubled in the first half of 2023. The United States supplied 63% of Thailand’s total broiler day-old chick imports, while New Zealand accounted for 25% in the first half of 2023.

The USDA projects 2023 chicken meat production to increase 4.5% from 2022, compared to the average annual growth of 5–8% prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Integrated chicken farms are reportedly holding high inventories of chicken meat and facing high production costs due to the cost of feed ingredients. 

Although average feed ingredient prices began to level off in May 2023, July 2023 prices were still 5% higher than in July 2022. Meanwhile, farm-gate prices of live broilers tumbled a further 7% in July 2023.

Post forecasts 2024 chicken meat production to grow around 1% in line with the expected slow domestic consumption growth, following an uneven recovery in tourism which remains the main driver of Thailand’s economic recovery. 

Integrated chicken farms will likely hesitate to expand their broiler population due to concern about high production costs, especially related to feed corn. The government continues to support corn farmers through a price guarantee program and restricts imports of feed wheat to protect local corn famers despite insufficient supplies of locally produced corn.

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