If commercial flocks in any of the three key Brazilian producing regions become impacted by bird flu this year, then the effect on global markets could be significant for the animal protein sector, Bord Bia has warned.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza remains a concern for the global poultry industry, it said in its annual report, adding that as the virus has spread to most regions, increased global risk for production and trade will be evident this year.

“The outlook for the global poultry industry is expected to be helped by improving demand and lower costs in 2024.

“Europe’s market conditions remain positive, but the industry faces pressure from rising imports, especially increased chicken imports from the Ukraine which rose significantly in 2023,” it added.

Bord Bia also said that European consumer spending is expected to come under further pressure.

“This squeeze on spending is likely to cause further switching into the chicken category, with pork pricing expected to remain at elevated levels.”


Global pigmeat production is forecast to remain unchanged in 2024, with lower output in China anticipated to offset increases in Brazil, Vietnam and the United States, Bord Bia said.

Chinese production levels are forecast to fall by 1% for the year to 56m tonnes. While the USDA is reporting higher American production, some industry analysts believe that a significant production correction is facing their industry on the back of prolonged losses.

“The EU pig industry continues to readjust from weak domestic consumption, and a lack of new markets to replace China by aligning production with lower demand levels. EU pigmeat production is expected to recover marginally as the year continues,” it added.

However, estimates suggest that production is likely to remain around 10% lower than 2021 and Bord Bia has said this reflects the structural changes that are putting significant downward pressure on production.

“Irish pigmeat production is expected to gradually recover from the first quarter of 2024, reflecting some recovery in the pig breeding herd on the back of higher prices and some downward readjustment in production costs,” it said.