Chicken Market

A progressing production

Chicken market
Figure. Broiler meat production in the EU (2015)20

Chicken production is progressing all over the world. According to the World Watch Institute, 74 percent of the world’s poultry meat, and 68 percent of eggs are produced in ways that are described as “intensive”.[1] The USA is the world’s biggest producer of broiler chicken meat, 17,752 Million metric tonnes per year[2]. Brazil is the world’s second chicken grower with 13,115 MT followed by China (13,000 MT). In the case of the three leading countries as well as in others (like India, Russia) antibiotics may be used as additive to feedstuff to promote growth and avoid early death of animals. However, thanks to the strong media campaigns and opinion of professional community their usage is decreasing, in particular in the US. In 2012, FDA asked livestock and poultry producers to phase out use of antibiotics for growth purposes[3]. The American Meat Institute (AMI) and its members support FDA’s decision. However, no obligatory ban has been made yet.

In Europe, the broiler sector is expected to continue to grow in 2016 and 2017. Production is also supported by strong export demand[4]. The overall EU-28 production in 2015 encompasses various situations, but broiler meat production is expected to increase from 2014 in major EU producing countries and especially in Poland which is on the verge of becoming the largest EU-28 broiler producer (Figure). In Germany, production will continue to grow but welfare and environmental issues are hampering faster growth in the industry.

Production will however remain flat in Spain because of the pressure from the retail industry on producers negatively impacting producer margins. The significant and continuous decrease of grain prices in the EU-28 since 2013 has increased operating margins, as retail prices decreased less.20 Beside market trends, the increase in the prices for 2013 can be explained also by the implementation of straight ban of the use of antibiotics from 2013. In order to reduce the operational costs, users must reduce their costs, including costs for veterinarian services, costs of antibiotics, loss due to deceased animals.

  • [1] State of the World 2006 World watch Institute, p. 26
  • [2]
  • [3] American Meat Institute report (2013): The Facts about Antibiotics in Livestock & Poultry Production.
  • [4] Xavier Audran, David G Salmon: EU-28 Poultry and Products Annual, Global Agriculture Information Network (2015)