Consumers opting for cheap poultry options over meat, says Rabobank

Rebecca Prescott28 Feb 2013

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According to Rabobank, the poultry industry's pricing power should improve, with continuing high prices for competitor meats such as pork and beef leading consumers to choose the cheaper poultry option, and an improving supply discipline in some key producing countries.

Rabobank analyst Nan-Dirk Mulder, said: "Despite the positive picture, this outlook is very fragile and dependent upon risks related to feed costs and supply discipline.

Global poultry industry performance has been affected by the increasing feed prices and local market supply/demand balance. Companies active in countries with a relatively good or improving local market balance have been the first to benefit from an improved market situation.

Brazil, in particular, has benefitted from more disciplined supply management. The opposite is still the case in South Africa, India and Thailand, where industries are still exposed by oversupply, although signs are that in Thailand and India things are improving slightly.

The best performing local industries are still in Russia and Ukraine, with ongoing high margins and a good local supply situation with growth in local demand, although prices in Russia have tended to decline recently.

The performance of poultry companies in 2013 will depend, to a large extent, on how well they are able to deal with volatility from grain and oilseed prices, according to the research.

Although the current outlook suggests a slowdown in feed price increases, uncertainty remains due to low stock levels and an uncertain production outlook for grains and oilseeds. The industry should therefore be prepared for any change in input prices. It has been proven that an optimal supply management system will be a key element here.

In addition, further optimisation of industry structure should become a higher priority for companies in which elements such as market power, efficiency and risk mitigation are key for 2013.

Source: Rabobank