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7 Apr 2023


Bird flu outbreak causes a drop in chicken products among trading partners, driving growth of Thai chicken exports in 2023 by 2.5-4.5 percent (Current Issue No.3397)


        The recent avian influenza outbreaks in many countries have occurred amid climate change, causing a decline in chicken products especially among severely affected countries, such as the EU, the US and Japan.
Given an expected gradual recovery in chicken meat production following the outbreaks and the fact that a major chicken exporting country like Brazil has not been affected by the bird flu, Thailand’s chicken exports may moderately benefit from the outbreaks, especially amid economic slowdowns among trading partners. KResearch projects that Thailand’s export value of chicken products in 2023 may reach USD 4.18-4.26 billion, expanding by 2.5-4.5 percent YoY, which is less than the previous year’s growth. The smaller growth is partly due to the high base of 2022, slowing economies among major trading partners like Japan and the UK, as well as limited demand for chicken products even when accounting for the bird flu situation. Nevertheless, supporting factors for the overall value of Thai chicken shipments this year include an expected increase in demand for fresh/chilled/frozen chicken from China following its reopening; penetration to new markets such as South Korea and Saudi Arabia through trade negotiations and certification of factories in Thailand; and rising demand from countries with insufficient production capacity like Malaysia, the Netherlands, Ireland and the Philippines.

        Looking ahead, even as Thai chicken products meet the quality standards, price competition among trading partners tends to intensify. In particular, major competitors like the US and Brazil benefit from a price advantage, thanks to their lower costs of raw materials like animal feeds, as well as higher productivity and economies of scale. Given this, effective cost management throughout the production process remains a key challenge for businesses.

        Considering global prices of animal feeds that tend to decrease, even as Thai chicken exports are expected to grow, KResearch estimates that retail prices of chicken meat (fresh whole slaughtered chicken with offal) for full-year 2023 may be at THB 66-68 per kilogram on average, a slight decrease compared to THB 70.59 per kilogram in 2022.