Panorama of the Colombian poultry sector: figures and challenges
The poultry sector in Colombia is a significant component of the national industry that has great strengths and challenges for 2022.
Poultry farming is a productive sector in the world that plays a leading role in international markets. Moreover, in some countries such as Colombia, it represents one of the most solid sectors of the national industry thanks to its economic and productive growth and sanitary improvements.
Currently, broiler poultry and egg production play an important role in the development of Colombia’s economy, which in recent years has continued to grow steadily.
World poultry farming outlook in recent years
In 2019, broiler poultry farming recorded production of 133 164 127 million tons. On the other hand, globally, 2 321 953 338 (per thousand) egg units were produced for consumption in the same year.
The United States is the largest producer of chicken meat, accounting for 17% of world production, followed by China and Brazil. Moreover, China is the largest producer of eggs for consumption in the world, with 38% of the total produced each year, followed by the United States with 7% and India with 7%. Asia concentrates the highest egg production in the world. In recent decades, egg production has increased by 150%, making it one of the main foodstuffs in Asia and the world.
Over the last six decades, world poultry farming is reported to have grown exponentially. Chicken meat increased from 9 to 133 million tons between 1961 and 2020, while egg production increased from 15 to 93 million tons. In addition, it is recognized that a large population in rural areas of each country subsists thanks to poultry farming, especially in developing countries.
Within world meat production, poultry accounts for 40% of the total produced each year. This demonstrates the importance of the product as one of the most widely consumed animal proteins in different parts of the world thanks to its nutritional properties and favorable economic aspects.
Economic figures of poultry farming in Colombia
Poultry farming in Colombia represents a contribution of 36.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for livestock; in turn, it represents 14.3% of the Agricultural GDP; finally, it participates with 0.7% of the National GDP. This figure demonstrates the high economic value and strength of the poultry sector in the development of the country and its economic strength.
In broiler poultry farming, costs are related to the feed supplied, which requires 70% of the total investment. In second place are the costs related to day-old chicks (12%), followed by labor (9%), services (7%), and inputs (2%).
In the laying hens’ sector, feed requires 44% of the total investment for their maintenance. In the second place, the day-old pullet represents 28% of the costs, followed by vaccines with 16%. In fourth place are personnel and services. For laying hens, feed continues to be the highest cost at 71%, followed by personnel, inputs, and services at 5% each.
Production figures for the poultry sector in Colombia in 2020
In Colombia in 2020, 16 382 million eggs were produced, equivalent to 982 959 tons of product. In addition, per capita, egg consumption was 291 units per year.
In the case of broiler chicken, 1619 784 tons of chicken meat were produced. In addition, the per capita consumption of chicken in Colombia in 2020 was 33.7 kg/year.
The areas of Colombia that recorded the highest production of poultry products in 2020 were Central with 427,000 tons, followed by the department of Santander with 393,000 tons, and in third place Valle with 317,000 tons.
It is worth noting that poultry farming in Colombia had impressive growth figures during 2020, demonstrating a great economic recovery in this livestock sector. Egg poultry farming registered a growth of 13.9% during 2020 while broiler poultry was up 4.5% during the same year.
In Colombia, poultry farming had a growth of 1.8% overall during 2020. This sector is composed of 6096 farms and 126 processing plants for the processing of products. In addition, this productive sector generates close to 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Poultry production in Colombia during 2021
Poultry farming in Colombia registered a growth of 3.5% in 2021. In the laying hen production system, this growth was 4% while in broiler systems it was 3.2% during 2021.
Broiler sector figures for 2021 indicate that 1 671 581 tons of chicken meat were produced. In addition, a per capita consumption of 34.2 kg/year was recorded.
In the Colombian context, the raw materials used for poultry feed are corn and soybeans, which have increased in price during the last two years. This has notably impacted production prices in Colombian poultry systems.
The consumption of raw materials in the poultry industry had important figures. The most used raw material was yellow corn with approximately 4 453 000 tons, followed by soybean cake with 1 1728 69 and soybeans with 495 568 tons.
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Poultry farming forecasts in Colombia
Chicken consumption in Colombia over the last 10 years has registered favorable figures that continue to grow every year. Thus, in 2010 per capita consumption was 24 kg/year; in 2015 it increased to 30.4 kg/year and in 2020 it registered 34.02 kg/year.
In parallel, egg consumption has increased in recent years. In 2010, egg consumption per capita was 214 each year. By 2015, this figure was 252 eggs consumed per year. In 2020, one person in Colombia consumed 325 eggs during the year.
Therefore, there has been a significant growth every year in the consumption of chicken meat and eggs. Likewise, these figures are expected to be stable and continue to increase, considering that these products are the most consumed animal protein in Colombia. This high consumption is associated with their low price for the consumer, high nutritional value, ease of access and preparation, and excellent organoleptic characteristics.
On the other hand, improvements at the sanitary level offer a favorable outlook for the coming years in Colombian poultry farming. The country was recently declared free of Newcastle disease thanks to a rigorous eradication program, which opens the door to the export of poultry products. Previously, the country already has a sanitary status as a country free of Avian Influenza.
Forecasts for poultry farming in Colombia during 2022 indicate that economic figures are expected to increase by 2.5% for broiler chicken and 3.5% for egg production. Export products focus on chicken parts, especially wings or breasts, with about 350,000 tons in the next five years. In this way, an economic return, and values close to USD 5 million are expected.
Thanks to these advances, chicken produced in Colombia can be exported to Russia and Japan, and progress is expected concerning the United States, China, Korea, and Hong Kong. Eggs are also exported to Mexico, and ties are expected to be tighten with the United States and Central American countries.
Poultry farming is one of the most important production systems worldwide. This sector is one of the links in the world’s food security chain and plays a leading role in the development of countries and international markets.
Globally, countries such as the United States and China are the leaders in the production and consumption of poultry meat and eggs for consumption due to their human populations and their technified systems. In addition, these countries supply a large part of the world’s poultry products, as demand has grown in recent decades.
On the other hand, poultry farming is one of the most important items in Colombia’s productive sector. This Latin American country is one of the leaders in the region in broiler and egg production. In addition, poultry farming in Colombia has significant figures in terms of employment generation, GDP participation, food security, and international markets.
Finally, there are challenges for Colombia’s poultry industry related to the distribution chain, exports, raw material prices, and sanitary management of major diseases in poultry production.