GLOBAL – Conditions in the global poultry market are gradually improving, with demand expected to rise due to increased affordability stemming from rising incomes and reduced costs and inflation rates, according to a recent Rabobank report.

The report highlighted that several markets experiencing oversupply and declining prices have witnessed improvements in local conditions during Q1 of 2024, largely driven by production cuts aimed at balancing supply and demand dynamics.

Analysts anticipate a rebound in the global poultry market following a sluggish second half of 2023, although persistent geopolitical tensions continue to pose distribution challenges.

Leading suppliers are turning to data platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) systems to bolster productivity and transparency in the face of these challenges.

“We expect global markets to continue to improve slightly,” Nan-Dirk Mulder, senior analyst for Animal Protein at Rabobank, noted.

While price remains a key determinant of market demand, its influence is expected to diminish compared to 2023, thanks to lower consumer price inflation and higher incomes.

Despite these positive indicators, maintaining market equilibrium in the face of disciplined supply growth remains a challenge.

The forecasted growth of 1.5–2% for 2024 is primarily driven by emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, while growth in Europe, the US, and Japan is anticipated to be sluggish.

To enhance operational efficiency and sustainability, poultry farmers are increasingly adopting digital technologies. DSM-Firmenich, for instance, is piloting a data platform with the agricultural cooperative Agrifirm to promote responsible and transparent production.

Similarly, Cargill is leveraging AI to enhance the health of chicken flocks. Florian Schattenmann, Cargill’s CTO and VP of R&D and Innovation, highlighted the Galleon project, which screens the DNA of chicken microbiomes to assess flock health and inform feed adjustments accordingly.

However, geopolitical tensions in regions such as the Black Sea and the Red Sea pose significant distribution challenges, potentially impacting global trade in poultry and related inputs.

Additionally, avian influenza remains a concern, with risks expected to shift to the Southern Hemisphere in the coming months.

Key exporting countries like Brazil and Thailand are particularly vulnerable, and outbreaks could disrupt global market conditions and trade flows.

Against this backdrop, the modest growth forecast for the poultry market coincides with a growing emphasis on animal welfare among consumers.

The European Chicken Commitment (ECC) is set to drive improvements in broiler chicken welfare standards, with companies facing reputational and financial risks for non-compliance.

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