The South African poultry sector – trade, consumption, production and inputs
Poultry consumption accounted for 60% of total animal protein consumption in South Africa in 2016, dwarfing the total consumption of pork, beef and veal and sheep. South Africa consumes thirteen times the average per capita poultry consumption in sub-Saharan Africa and almost three times the average per capita world poultry consumption. However, domestic production has been unable to keep up with rising domestic demand, necessitating supplementing the shortfall with imports. It is these imports which have drawn a significant negative response from the domestic poultry industry. Due to poultry imports, there has been an increase in the demand for protection by domestic producers and the South African Poultry Association (SAPA). The biggest rift in the opposing views stems from the lack of agreement about what the contributing factors are to the current crisis which exists within the South African poultry industry.
This trade brief examines the South African poultry industry according to some of the factors which have been identified as underlying problems the industry is facing and provides a comparative analysis between the South African poultry industry and major poultry producers, consumers and traders. The aim of the analysis is to determine those policy issues which have contributed to the challenging situation the domestic poultry industry currently finds itself in and ways in which to address these challenges.
Firstly, the scene is set by looking at worldwide poultry consumption, production and trade in broad strokes. Secondly, the paper focuses specifically on the South African poultry industry. A comparative analysis is done based on poultry consumption, production and trade; as well as feed prices and trade between South Africa and some of the most important countries in the poultry sector, including the United States, Brazil, Argentina and European countries. Based on the analysis, the study finally draws some inferences about the underlying factors plaguing the poultry industry and ways in which these should be addressed.
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