Overview of the SA poul­try in­dus­try

2012 to 2016

The Poultry Bulletin - - FROM THE DESK -

Growth trends: Per­cent­age change vs pre­vi­ous year

1.1. Broiler in­dus­try trend

The broiler pro­duc­tion trend de­picted in Graph 1 is based on the ac­tual num­ber of day-old broiler chicks hatched per month, as re­ported by broiler hatch­eries. The trend line shows how the in­dus­try has re­acted to an over­sup­ply of chicken meat caused by in­creas­ing lev­els of im­ports. High feed prices due to the pro­longed and se­vere drought in South Africa have also played a role. Dur­ing the past five years there has been very lit­tle growth and ul­ti­mately con­trac­tion, as pro­duc­ers have ei­ther cut back on pro­duc­tion or ex­ited the in­dus­try.

1.2. Egg in­dus­try trend

The trend in ta­ble egg pro­duc­tion fol­lows a sim­i­lar pattern. Egg pro­duc­ers have been un­der enor­mous pres­sure ow­ing to es­ca­lat­ing feed prices and dis­ease chal­lenges. Mar­gins have been squeezed be­cause re­tail­ers are re­sis­tant to pro­ducer price in­creases. A num­ber of small and medi­um­sized pro­duc­ers have in re­cent years sold their farms or closed their busi­nesses.

2. Poul­try stock num­ber trends 2.1. Broiler in­dus­try: broiler par­ent and broiler chick num­bers

The pro­jected broiler breeder flock num­ber, based on ac­tual weekly num­bers of day-old broiler par­ent pul­lets placed, is pre­sented in Graph 2.1. It is as­sumed that pul­lets are moved to the breeder flock at 20 weeks of age and

de­pop­u­lated at 61 weeks of age. De­spite the tur­bu­lence in the in­dus­try the flock has shown steady growth since 2012, only ex­hibit­ing a down­ward trend in mid-2016. The lengthy sup­ply chain from breed­ing to pro­cess­ing makes it dif­fi­cult for the in­dus­try to re­act quickly to changes in mar­ket con­di­tions.

The po­ten­tial num­ber of broiler chicks pro­duced per week fol­lows the same trend as the breeder flock.

It is as­sumed that the ac­tual num­ber of broiler chicks hatched is a true re­flec­tion of broil­ers placed on South African farms. The dis­crep­ancy be­tween ac­tual and po­ten­tial chick place­ments from 2012 to 2015 may be due in part to lower than ex­pected hatch­ing egg num­bers, and ex­ports of day-old chicks. Rea­sons to ac­count for the widen­ing gap in 2016 in­clude the sale of sur­plus hatch­ing eggs for ta­ble con­sump­tion, early de­pop­u­la­tion of breeder flocks, and ex­ports of hatch­ing eggs – which ac­count for about 10% of the dif­fer­ence.

2.2. Egg in­dus­try: day-old pul­let, point-of-lay pul­let and lay­ing hen num­bers

In Graph 2.2 the egg in­dus­try bird num­bers are pre­sented as trend lines. The down­swings in 2012 and 2016 may be at­trib­uted to pe­ri­ods when year-on-year in­creases in feed prices out­stripped in­creases in farm-gate egg prices. The weak do­mes­tic econ­omy and ris­ing un­em­ploy­ment, cou­pled with growth in re­tail mar­gins, con­trib­uted to a grad­ual de­crease in per capita con­sump­tion of eggs over the five-year pe­riod. Pro­duc­ers

have re­sponded by re­duc­ing their flock sizes.

3. Ac­tual broiler pro­duc­tion per an­num

As in­di­cated in Graph 3, an­nual broiler pro­duc­tion de­creased in 2013 and 2014. This was fol­lowed by a pe­riod of growth (+4.8%) in 2015, and shrink­age (-3.0%) in 2016. Based on the re­duc­tion in the size of the broiler breeder flock, the to­tal num­ber of broil­ers pro­duced is ex­pected to de­cline in 2017.

4. Eggs pro­duced per an­num

Fol­low­ing two con­sec­u­tive years of re­duced vol­umes, an­nual egg pro­duc­tion in­creased by 2.0% in 2015 and re­mained fairly sta­ble in 2016 (Graph 4). Based on the de­creas­ing trend in lay­ing hen num­bers, the to­tal num­ber of 30-dozen cases is ex­pected to de­cline in 2017.

5. Poul­try meat pro­duc­tion

The to­tal ton­nage of meat pro­duced per an­num from the slaugh­ter of broil­ers, plus live sales of breed­ing stock and com­mer­cial lay­ing hens, is pre­sented in Graph 5. In 2016, 1.612 mil­lion tonnes of chicken meat were pro­duced; 2.9% less than in 2015. The con­tri­bu­tion of broil­ers to the to­tal meat ton­nage amounted to 95.4%.

6. Feed us­age by poul­try in­dus­try

The to­tal feed ton­nages con­sumed by birds in the broiler and egg pro­duc­tion sec­tors of the poul­try in­dus­try are pre­sented in Graph 6. In 2016, the broiler in­dus­try con­sumed 74.0% (3.340 mil­lion tonnes) of the to­tal feed re­quired by the in­dus­try, down from 74.3% the pre­vi­ous year.¡

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