More chicken imports to come

Chicken imports will continue to grow over the next decade, while declining slightly as a percentage of local production.

This is the projection of the Baseline Agricultural Outlook 2021 – 2030just published by the Bureau for Agricultural Policy (BFAP). 

The independent and authoritative organisation also says South Africa’s consumption of chicken is expected to increase by 20% relative to the 2018-2020 base period. This is significantly slower than the 29% growth over the past decade and the 71% growth achieved from 2000 to 2010.

Consumption growth will be met by increases in both local production and imports. Previous BFAP research has shown that chicken imports grabbed most of the increased local demand over the previous decade.

Import volumes have declined after peaking at 26% of local production in 2018, but would increase over the coming decade.

 “Combined with further commitments in the poultry masterplan aimed at containing the growth in imports, the share of imports in domestic consumption is projected to reach 21% by 2030, from an average of 24% in the 2018-2020 base period,” BFAP says.

Slowing the growth of imports, and not bringing about an absolute reduction in volumes, is not good news for the local industry.