Russian broiler meat production finally catches up with demand

22.08.2016

After decades of rapid growth, the Russian poultry industry appears to have finally caught up with booming demand, as big commercial farms edge out smaller producers, US officials said.

Broiler meat production will hit an all-time high of 3.77m tonnes in 2017, the US Department of Agriculture's Moscow bureau said.

But the bureau said that the growth in production is beginning to tail off, after output grew strongly for years in order to meet consumer demand.

That demand is also flattening out, at record levels, thanks to increased competition from other proteins.

Decades of growth

"After two decades of accelerated growth, the industrial production of chicken meat has reached the capacity needed to satisfy domestic demand and is anticipated to slow with stable, low consumer prices for broiler meat," the bureau said.

Since the year 2000, growth in broiler meat production has run at about 14% a year.

After years of growth, the bureau forecast broiler meat consumption stabilising, albeit at record levels of 3.83m tonnes.

"Broiler meat will face more competition from falling pork prices and growing domestic supplies of turkey, which will limit expansion of the chicken meat share in the market."

Commercialisation of production

The growth in output has been driven by an increasingly commercial broiler industry.

"Low margins motivate those producers who are able to enhance value chains and optimize farm operations," the bureau said.

"These efforts allow companies from the top-20 list to continue growing production, which increases their market share and offsets falling production out of smaller farms that must close operations due to financial challenges."

Imports fall, exports rise

Broiler meat imports for 2017 were forecast at 220,000 tonnes. This is in line with the bureau's revised 2016 import forecasts, which would be the lowest since 1993.

"Because the restrictions on imports from other significant exporters will continue until the end of 2017, imported cuts from Brazil and chilled broilers from Belarus remain in demand," the bureau said.

And exports are rising, as Russia continues to expand its exports to Asia, hitting an all-time high of 160,000 tonnes.

"However, significant increase of exports in 2017 is unlikely due to strong competition in the targeted markets of Middle East and Asia," the bureau said.


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