Poultry price eases in China amid bearish outlook

Poultry prices in China have begun to slump after a rally in the second half of 2021, and the market is not optimistic about the price outlook.

Poultry prices shot higher along with pork prices in 2019 due to the severe outbreak of African swine fever in China. Consumers who found pork prices too expensive often switched to poultry as a cheaper alternative and pushing chicken prices higher.

However, many farmers who lost their herds to ASF moved into raising poultry due to the lack of disease pressure, the lower start-up costs, and the faster turn-around time for chickens.

Stronger supply has kept prices relatively low for the past two years. Even with the price uptick in the second half of 2021, most farmers are operating near breakeven or with slight losses.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), December sales of broiler chickens were 480 million, an increase of 9.3%.

Slaughter numbers for 2021 are estimated at 5.81 billion, a yearly increase of 18%.

“The data shows that after the African swine fever epidemic, the national pig production capacity has steadily recovered, and the supply of pork is sufficient, while the reduction of broiler production capacity is still not obvious,” according to a MARA official quoted in the state newswire Economic Daily.