Thailand edges out Brazil in Japanese chicken market

Total chicken slaughter in Japan for 2017 was 772.4 million birds yielding 1.661 million tonnes of meat, up 2% from 2016.


Growth in production comes despite an overall decline in the number of operations.


Strong consumer demand for chicken is expected to drive retailers and foodservice providers to increase purchases of imported products in 2018. Through the first five months of the year, Japan imported 433,967 MT of chicken meat, up 11% compared to the same period in 2017.


Japan’s total chicken meat imports in 2017 were 1.056 million tonnes, of which 54% was raw meat and 46% was processed chicken products.


Thailand continued its strong push into the market, edging out Brazil as the top chicken supplier to Japan in 2017. Thailand and Brazil accounted for 80% of Japan’s chicken imports in 2017 and the balance is processed products from China.


Food service is expected to drive consumption upward to 2.765 million tonnes. Imports are projected to grow to 1.080 million tonnes as Thailand continues to strengthen its position in the market after overtaking Brazil as the largest poultry supplier to Japan in 2017.


Japanese chicken imports are expected to grow to 1.080 million MT in 2018, up 2% from the previous year. Ending stocks are projected to hold steady at 224,000 MT.