Thailand’s chicken meat production to grow 3% in 2022

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Thai chicken meat production was forecast to rise only 1% in 2021.

Chicken meat production in Thailand is forecast to grow 3% year-on-year (yoy) in 2022, driven by the gradual recovery in domestic consumption and exports.

Consumption is expected to increase 3% in 2022 as the food service and tourism sectors reopen, a USDA report said.

Economic recovery in key trading partners could boost Thai exports by 3%, far below the average 10% growth in the five years before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, China will likely resume its audit process in 2022 and may approve more processing facilities in Thailand.  

China approved 22 Thai facilities under its audit program out of a total of 31 facilities certified by Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development.

Pandemic disrupts chicken production

In 2021, chicken meat production was forecast to rise only 1% as Covid-19 infections at processing plants in Q3 disrupted production.

Meat processors expect the suspension would be temporary and plants would resume normal production in Q4.

Meanwhile, export growth was expected to slow down in the second half of 2021, compared to a 6% increase in the first half. Foreign buyers, China in particular, were concerned about the detection of Covid-19 in several plants in Thailand.    

Exports to China suspended

Eight processing plants in Thailand suspended exports to China as Covid-19 infected its workers, Kukrit Areepakorn, Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association Manager, told Asian Agribiz in September 2021.

Kukrit Areepakorn

The plants were disinfected and resumed exports to other countries. But China’s strict policy will only allow imports after they have assessed safety measures.

“It’s a slow process as China has tightened surveillance of frozen food imports,” Mr Kukrit said.

Thailand exported 60,000 tons of frozen chicken products to China from January-July 2021, down 7% yoy.

Exports up 6%

Thai frozen and processed chicken exports rose 6% yoy to 583,000 tons in January-July 2021, thanks to increased orders from Japan. Export value was up 1.4% to USD 2 billion.

Exports to Japan grew 12% to 282,000 tons; those to EU grew 5% to 77,000 tons. Shipments to the UK slid 1%.

Production capacity at export-oriented processing facilities was down 10% in September. Some companies rejected new orders amid a labor shortage, Mr Kukrit said.

“There were many challenges in 2021 including higher prices of feed ingredients, higher freight rates, rising cost of Covid-19 prevention, and labor shortage. Companies had to find a way to keep the business afloat,” he added.

Read more:
Thailand to miss chicken export target in 2021
Labor shortage, rising costs trouble Thai poultry industry
Thai chicken exports rise 6% in January-July

Joint-Editor, Asian Meat Magazine and Meat Insider, Bangkok, Thailand. The African swine fever hitting the pig industry in Thailand as kept Payungsak busy, writing, ‘Support required for small-scale pig farms affected by ASF’ for the Pig Health Monitor.