The 2024 outlook for the global poultry market is moderately positive, with a forecast of 1.5 percent to two percent growth, according to Rabobank’s Q1 2024 global poultry outlook.

Though a decline from the long-term average of 2.5 percent per year, it’s a sign of recovery from 2023’s 1.1 percent. With declines expected in pork and beef markets, poultry is expected to be the fastest-growing protein in a global animal protein market forecast to grow just 0.4 percent YOY. Lower input costs, and therefore lower-priced chicken, should help stimulate chicken consumption in 2024 and accelerate growth in the industry.

Most growth is expected in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, but at below-average levels. Producers will need to keep balancing supply growth with relatively slow demand growth, especially in the US, Thailand, Indonesia, and more recently in China and the EU, which have been struggling with oversupply.

Price-driven markets will be an ongoing challenge for producers in 2024, as the industry will still face relatively high costs and potential volatility. As consumer spending power is expected to gradually recover, the focus on prices will be less than in 2023, while demand for higher-value products will improve.

Feed costs will move slightly lower, but global geopolitical issues like the Ukraine war, turmoil in the Middle East, and weather risks could affect feed costs, as well as oil and gas prices.

The fast growth in global trade seen in 2022 and early 2023 has started to slow. Raw chicken will still grow. However, processed poultry meat trade is expected to stay slow in foodservice markets in key import countries, challenging global traders in Brazil, Thailand, and China. But the market will gradually recover on improving consumer spending power. Avian influenza remains a major challenge, with early winter season outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere and heavy impacts in South Africa. More countries will start vaccination, in addition to biosecurity measures, to address this.

In this ongoing price-driven market context with high and volatile input costs and avian influenza risks, producers should focus on optimal efficiency, procurement, and biosecurity, but improving spending power should gradually lead to improving demand for more premium and value-added products.