The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released this week its biannual “Food Outlook,” which reports that poultry meat production in 2012 is forecast to increase by 1.8 percent from the 2011 estimate to 103.5 million metric tons.  Poultry meat trade is expected to increase by 31 percent to 13 million tons.

FAO forecasts that most of this production growth will be due to efforts of Asia in general, and China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Turkey in particular.  FAO said that the limit on production growth in 2012 is based on three factors–the current high price of feed, the revival of avian influenza in Asia, and ongoing trade disputes. The incidence of avian influenza has escalated recently in Asia with outbreaks in Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.  The resurgence of avian influenza is also making itself felt in terms of bio-security trade bans.

Brazil and the Russian Federation production outputs are expected to grow by 3 percent and 6 percent respectively,  amounting to 3 million tons for Russia and 12 million tons for Brazil.  Production in African countries is being hindered by rising import and high feed prices.  The exception is South Africa, whose import tariffs will help domestic output.  The expansion in world poutlry trade is expected to take the form of increased delivery to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and Saudia Arabia.  Increasing domestic demand is expected to fuel imports to Egypt, Angola, Benin, and Ghana.