World poultry meat (chicken, turkey, and other birds) production is expected to increase 2 percent to 103.5 million metric tons in 2012, according to the “Food Outlook” report released this month by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.  The slower-than-usual growth in output is attributed to high feed costs, avian influenza outbreaks, and ongoing trade disputes.  Much of the increase will be provided by Asia (China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Turkey).  However, avian influenza outbreaks in seven Asian countries in early 2012 blurs the regions outlook, FAO said. 

Poultry production is expected to be stable in developing countries with slight gains in the European Union and reduced output in the United States.  Russia is projected to increase production six percent in 2012 to 3.0 million tons, stemming from ten new investment projects.  Brazil will see an increase of three percent to 12.0 million tons, while Mexico will increase two percent to 2.9 million tons as a result of vertical integration and higher priced competing proteins.

FAO said that, despite the slow re-listing of plants by Russia, Brazilian poultry exports are expected to increase two percent in 2012 with the help of a more favorable exchange rate.  Thailand’s exports are projected to increase in 2012 as a result of the European Unions’s April 3 decision to lift an eight-year ban on raw poultry shipments effective July 1, 2012.  Strong demand from Chile and Venezuela, as well as other regional countries, will continue to support Argentina’s growing poultry exports.  Conversely, U.S. exports are projected to grow less than one percent in 2012 because of limited domestic production and more restricted market access.  Poultry shipments from the European Union in 2012 are also forecast to decline.

FAO reported that globally in-bound product is projected to increase three percent in 2012 despite several import trade restrictions.  Most of the increase will come from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.  Russia, once the largest import market, is expected to increase its imports because of an increase in poultry tariff-rate quota induced by the World Trade Organization.  Increased poultry imports to Africa (Egypt, Angola, Benin, and Ghana) are a result of increased domestic demand.  Imports now comprise 24 percent of domestic demand, compared to 18 percent in 2009 .  Imports to Latin America and the Caribbean will be led by Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela.  Because of anti-dumping duties imposed on U.S. poultry, China may buy less in 2012. However some of the poultry being shipped to Hong Kong is likely to be re-exported to China.  South Africa’s anti-dumping tariffs on Brazilian poultry are expected to negatively impact these imports, the FAO report said.