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Poultry Industry Hit by Consolidation

5 September 2012, at 7:56am

AUSTRALIA - The poultry meat industry in Australia has lost its footing in the five years through 2012-13, according to a new report from IBISWorld.

Although a largely vertically integrated industry, with ownership and supply contracts between poultry farmers and poultry processors, the industry was marred by industry consolidation over the period that led to contractions in employee numbers and wages.

According to IBISWorld industry analyst, Kiera Outlaw: “The majority of participants in the industry are individual poultry farmers that produce chickens under contract for major processors.”

However, as major processing companies increased their acquisition activity, smaller processing companies that were not acquired were forced to either expand or exit the industry, taking their contracts with them.

This resulted in a decline in independent poultry farmers as well.

However, continued growth in chicken consumption underpinned the industry, offsetting significant revenue contraction.

Poultry Meat Farming industry revenue contracted just 0.2 per cent over 2012-13.

Although chicken is in high demand, the contraction was likely due to costs outpacing fee growth, with many smaller poultry farmers recording small and declining profit.

Ms Outlaw added: “Over the five years through 2012-13, industry revenue has contracted at an annualised 1.4 per cent to reach $923.5 million.”

The industry is expected to return to growth as costs moderate relative to fees.

Moreover, demand for the industry's main product, chicken, is expected to grow over the next five years, although growth is expected to moderate. Over the five years through 2017-18, industry revenue is expected to grow.

Although grower fees will increase only marginally, continuing consolidation will provide cost savings for larger industry players.

Market share concentration in the Poultry Meat Farming industry is low, and major players include Inghams Enterprises Pty Limited, Proten Limited and Baiada Poultry Limited.

The largest operators in the industry are vertically integrated poultry growers and processors. Of the three major players, only Proten Limited is strictly engaged in poultry meat farming.

While industry concentration is considered low, the actual dominance of major players within the industry is considerably high. As well as growing their own chickens, industry operators also contract out poultry growing operations to farmers within the industry.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.