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Trends in poultry exports to Pacific ACP countries

January 27, 2014

The latest Global Poultry Trends 2013 report highlights a more than tripling of chicken meat imports into Pacific ACP (PACP) countries between 2000 and 2011 (the latest year for which data is available), from 9,609 tonnes to 34,791 tonnes. Tonga and Samoa together accounted for almost 58.6% of these imports in 2011 and, together with Papua New Guinea (PNG), 76.3%.

Chicken meat imports to Pacific ACP countries (tonnes)

2000 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Percentage change200611
Cook Islands 520 784 857 729 637 878 1,538 +96
Fiji 707 1,948 1,082 1,408 1,116 1,419 1,137 -42
Kiribati 570 1,008 957 757 762 617 492 -51
Niue 50 79 82 547 45 60 25 -68
PNG 1 986 1,305 2,269 3,881 3,779 6,169 +526
Samoa 4,100 4,445 6,022 7,191 7,489 9,660 10,859 +144
Solomon Islands 100 295 459 657 817 879 2,801 +849
Tonga 2,531 3,768 3,934 3,475 5,376 7,156 9,512 +178
Tuvalu 290 190 243 234 286 336 325 +71
Vanuatu 740 1,037 873 1,169 1,243 1,720 1,933 +86
TOTAL 9,609 14,540 15,814 18,436 21,652 26,504 34,791 +139
Annual percentage change +8.9 +16.6 +17.4 +22.4 +31.3

Source: FAO, cited inThepoultrysite.com, 13 November 2013 (see below), Table 5

The figures show an accelerating rate of growth of imports of chicken meat into the Pacific since 2006, with imports increasing 139% for the nine PACP countries covered by the review. The picture varies, however, from country to country, with imports in one of the larger markets, Fiji, down 42% between 2006 and 2011. This reflects an increase in poultry production from approximately 11 million chickens per annum in 2008 to over 15 million by the beginning of 2012. This followed investment by Goodman Fielder New Zealand (seeAgritradearticle Fiji poultry sector to expand amid regional tensions, 18 June 2012). Among PACP countries, Fiji is the only one reportedly involved in the chicken meat export trade, with exports of 61 tonnes in 2011 (for Fijis aspirations in this regard seeAgritradearticle USDA publishes review of Timor-Leste poultry sector, 9 August 2011).

Chicken meat imports into PNG once again came in for criticism in November 2013. The Poultry Industry Association (PIA) accused poultry traders of profiting at the expense of poultry producers. On average, importers were paying AU$1.12/kg for frozen and chilled fresh chicken, with a landed value of AU$2.74/kg, while the production costs in Australia were approximately AU$3.18/kg. With traded poultry products being exported at significantly below the average cost of Australian poultry meat, it was argued that PNG had become a dumping ground. However, these poultry exports consist primarily of low quality, high fat and dark meat portions, which find no ready market in Australia and New Zealand.

PIA representatives rejected accusations that high feed costs accounted for the industrys lack of competitiveness, maintaining there were a variety of causes behind the local industries high production costs, including high electricity, security and transportation costs. This prompted a call for government action to reduce the costs incurred by industry in all of these areas, to stimulate domestic production and eventually exports.