The Polish national chamber of poultry and feed producers (KIPDiP) has reported that the production of day-old broiler chicks surprisingly set a new record in 2022 as hatcheries rushed to recover from last year’s avian influenza outbreaks.
KIPDiP estimated that in May 2022, Polish hatcheries delivered 128 million day-old chicks on the market. This figure exceeded the level registered in May of 2021 by 40% and was the highest monthly performance ever. KIPDiP said that the hike in output is associated with an unprecedented situation in the domestic broiler meat market.
“A hike in broiler chick production appeared to be quite a surprise for the poultry industry,” KIPDiP said, explaining that a year ago, as a result of a bird flu epidemic in Mazovia province, Polish hatcheries delivered only 91 million chicks to the market, which was the worst result in the previous several years.
At that point, the entire poultry industry was convinced that it would take years for hatcheries to recover, KIPDiP said. Now, the exceptional growth in output raises fears of oversupply.
“Polish reproductive base has been rebuilt at a surprisingly fast pace. We can even fear whether such a pace will lead to overheating of the market and deterioration production profitability,” said Katarzyna Gawrońska, director of KIPDiP.
Gawrońska added that farmers started noticing a sharp rise in day-old chick production in February, while in April, the production already was close to the record.
“There are 2 reasons for these dynamics. The first is the huge demand for Polish poultry on the European market, and the second is the [farmers’] desire to offset the losses suffered during the bird flu epidemic,” Gawrońska said.
On the other hand, KIPDiP warned that the high production of broiler chicks has already started hampering prices in the broiler market. As of today, the purchase price of broilers in live weight in Poland dropped below PLN6 (US$1.29) per kg,
“I can say unequivocally that in our country, we are starting to deal with an overproduction of chicken meat. I expect this situation to be moderately bothersome for breeders until mid-August”, Gawrońska said, adding that in the following months, the market situation can deteriorate, and the price could become “deplorable” for poultry farmers.
In 2021, Poland produced 2.5 million tonnes of poultry meat, including 2.1 million tonnes of broiler meat, with nearly half of that quantity was exported, KIPDiP estimated.