Rising domestic demand and increased market share competition are causing growth in South Korea’s poultry industry. A recent USDA report shows that the country’s chicken meat production is forecast to increase by 2.4 percent between 2018 and 2019, from 910,000 to 932,000 tonnes. Domestic consumption is also expected to rise, from 1.02 million tonnes this year to 1.04 million tonnes in 2019. Many South Korean consumers prefer chicken over beef because of the cheaper price and abundance of ready-to-cook (RTC) poultry products like frozen chicken nuggets.
While this growing demand has resulted in a more competitive domestic market, an increase in production has caused an oversupply of chicken. Domestic production has been on the rebound this year after an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) last winter resulted in over 5 million chickens being culled. With HPAI under control, production is ramping up. Because of this glut, market prices will not be attractive for producers this year. Despite the low prices of live poultry, processing costs remain high. Therefore in 2019, the USDA forecasts a rise in processed chicken meat imports of 3 percent to 145,000 tonnes. With Gro Intelligence, subscribers can easily monitor data and market developments in the poultry industry.
Production and imports of chicken meat (left) are increasing in South Korea. Domestic consumption (right) has surpassed beef and is closing in on pork.