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USDA International Egg and Poultry

14 November 2012

USDA International Egg and Poultry: Australia’s Poultry IndustryUSDA International Egg and Poultry: Australia’s Poultry Industry

Australia’s chicken meat industry operates largely through vertically integrated poultry meat processors whose ownership includes not only the processing plants, but also all or at least some of the other elements in the supply chain.
USDA International Egg and Poultry

Two large and fully integrated privately owned companies supply about 70% of broiler chickens marketed in Australia. The remaining 30% is shared among six privately owned medium-sized integrated processor companies and a number of smaller processors. About 80% of all meat chickens are produced under a contract system, with processors supplying day-old chicks and rearing specifications; about 20% are grown on company farms.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) recently released its report Agricultural Commodities: September Quarter 2012. According to the report, Australian chicken meat production in 2012-13 is forecast to increase by 1%, to 1.04 million tons. Consumer demand is expected to remain high as chicken meat prices will continue to be substantially lower than prices of alternative meats, despite the effect of forecast higher feed grain prices. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the consumer price index of poultry declined by 4% in 2011-12, leading to a rise in domestic chicken meat consumption to a record 990,000 tons.

Australian per person consumption of chicken meat is forecast to be around 44 kilograms in 2012-13, largely unchanged from 2011-12 and remaining Australia’s most consumed meat. Australian per person chicken meat consumption increased by 75% over 20 years and the retail price disparity between chicken and other meats also increased over the same period.

In 2011-12, chicken meat exports increased by 22% to almost 34,000 tons (shipped weight). Over 95% of Australian chicken meat is consumed domestically. Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and South Africa accounted for over three quarters of total shipments. Chicken meat exports are forecast to increase by 10% in 2012-13 to around 37,000 tons (shipped weight) to satisfy ongoing growth in demand in the Asia-Pacific region. Quarantine regulations largely prohibit the importation of fresh chicken meat. Most chicken imported to Australia is canned chicken meat. Small amounts of frozen cooked chicken meat are imported from New Zealand.

Australia’s egg industry

In 2009-10 Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland accounted for 85% of the layer hen flock. Raw eggs (shell eggs) for food consumption cannot be imported into Australia under existing biosecurity restrictions. Egg powder, egg pulp, and preserved and cooked eggs can be imported.

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