Heatwave triggers early poultry slaughtering despite low disease rate

The ongoing hot weather condition in China has forced many poultry producers to ramp up their slaugthering activities earlier than usual, which could put cash and futures prices under pressure. 

As China is having the longest hot weather season in history with many provinces reporting new record high temperatures, poultry farms are being forced to cut their herd size to reduce the impact of hot weather on chickens. 

“Due to seasonal factors such as high temperatures, breeding companies can reduce the feeding density,” said Shandong Yisheng Livestock & Poultry Breeding Co., Ltd, one of the major poultry breeding companies in China. 

The company added that the transition period from summer to fall each year has historically been an easy period for poultry farming as the rate of disease tends to remain low. 

But as high temperatures lasted longer than normal this year, there have been cases of “early slaughtering”, the company added during a press conference with investors. 

Cash live chicken prices in China are hovering at 25.57 yuan/kg ($3.8/kg), up 37% year on year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.