Canadian broiler meat production to rise 2%

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Consumption of poultry meat in Canada is growing as the population increases
Consumption of poultry meat in Canada is growing as the population increases

Related tags Broiler meat Broiler meat production Meat Us Livestock Poultry

A 2% increase in broiler meat production is expected for Canada’s poultry industry in 2015, according to a new report by the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

In the annual Global Agricultural Information Network​ report on the Canadian poultry and poultry products industry, estimates are that chicken will continue to be an attractive alternative to red meats, which have been blighted by tight supply and high prices. Consumer preference has shifted in favour of poultry meat in recent years, partly due to the view that it is a healthier option. 

Broiler meat production is expected to rise to 1.1 million metric tonnes, as the sector benefits from reasonably priced feed. This follows an estimated 2.5% rise in production this year, compared to 2013 levels.

"Although poultry processors’ ability to pass on input costs to downstream customers is more limited, in 2015 they are likely to continue to enjoy above-average profit margins,"​ added the report.

The gradual increase in production is mainly supported by the annual increase in the Canadian population, said the report, and by the ethnic composition of the country’s immigration, whereby there are increasing numbers coming from Asia or Africa, who have a stronger preference for poultry compared to red meat.

Per capita consumption, however, is expected to be flat, at approximately 30.4kg in 2015, up slightly from 30.2kg this year.

Canadian imports are regulated under a tariff rate quota (TRQ), with the level increasing from 78,900 metric tonnes (mt) in 2014, to 80,900mt in 2015.

An increasing number of Canadian poultry companies are also taking advantage of various Imports for Re-Export Programs, which enable processors to import chicken meat, duty free, for the purposes of re-exporting the associated processed products.

Both imports and exports of broiler meat are predicted to be around 155,000mt in 2015. The US is Canada’s largest supplier of broiler meat, holding around 90% of the market share. In terms of exports, Canada has increased its supplies to Taiwan – its second-largest export market – by 19.2% from 2013-2014, to 14,751mt. The US remains its largest export market, with 30,418mt expected to be supplied this year.

Exports to the Philippines, Cuba and Gabon have dropped significantly, by 41.4%, 52% and 46.6%, respectively, albeit from a much smaller base.

The turkey sector is also set to benefit from high red meat prices, with modest growth predicted for 2015. Production is estimated to reach 172,000mt.

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