Outside of aquaculture, poultry is the most efficient converter of feed to food for humans. Vertical integration facilitates rapid expansion or contraction production phases to accommodate external market variables such as crop conditions that influence feed prices, or legislation. Following the depopulation of hog herds in Asian countries from African Swine Fever during 2019, poultry production has now become the largest single terrestrial animal agriculture sector in the world. A broiler is a chicken raised specifically for meat production.
Key facts about the global poultry market
- World broiler meat production was estimated at over 96 million metric tonnes during 2019.
- The US is the top producer or broiler meat, producing over 19 million metric tonnes annually, of which nearly 85% is consumed domestically.
- The second largest producing country Brazil is most heavily reliant on exports, catering mainly to China and Middle Eastern Nations, with over 28% of the total 13 million metric tonnes produced exported to other markets. Of that, 70% is destined for China.
- US chicken prices are typically seasonally influenced; breast meat is most in demand during the spring and summer for grilling and barbecuing, and wing supplies become tighter during autumn as consumption is closely tied with the US football season.
- Roughly 20% of all US broiler meat (mainly dark meat) exported ends up in Mexico, along with more than 60% of US turkey meat exports.