BANGKOK, Thailand. – On June 30, Aviagen® Asia Pacific hosted an informative webinar on the economic outlook of the Asian poultry landscape in the coming 12 months. During the event, a panel of experts explored the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as companies learn to work within the new reality, along with economic and social drivers that will create volatility and change. The experts gave their views on predicted changes that will occur in terms of economic influencers such as feed prices, poultry trade, changing consumer behavior and premium labeling schemes.
The President of Aviagen Asia, Dr. Peter Fisher, set the scene, looking at the current situation in regard to market fundamentals, disease challenges, availability of raw materials and shipping options.
Poultry Economist Dr. Paul Aho gave his informed opinion of the likely changes in feed pricing and availability, saying, “Barring a major drought in the United States, it looks like soy bean meal prices have reached their peak and should reduce from now on.” This was welcome news for the audience.
Queries regarding premium labelling schemes promoting slower-growing birds are being asked around the Asian region, and Tim Burnside, Aviagen’s Global Manager of Welfare and Compliance, was on hand to explain the requirements and impact of such schemes. He noted that, “While there are advantages in traits such as livability in slower growing breeds, that slower growth does incur greater costs in both production expenses and climate-change potential. Any decision to move to a premium labelling scheme needs a great deal of thought and understanding of all requirements and impacts.”
Thierry Murad, Product Manager for chicken at AJC, answered a series of questions regarding trade flows around Asia, focusing on the major exporters and importers, China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. He also gave his thoughts on potential new exporters such as the Philippines and Indonesia. His final comments were that “While doing business in Asia is not without its challenges, the industry as a whole feels very positive about the long-term opportunities for the poultry business there.”
To round out the speakers, Dymfke Kuijpers, Senior Partner at McKinsey Singapore, spoke on changing consumer demands, especially in regard to poultry. Her research shows that the vast majority of workers around the world and in Asia, wish to continue with some form of “work from home” going forward, maintaining some of the consumption dynamics from COVID. However, now that people are starting to emerge from isolation, they are keen to splurge on higher-value items, especially food. They will keep using alternative distribution channels, such as internet shopping, especially for essentials. For millennials in particular, the healthiness of their food in terms aspects such as traceability, transparency, antibiotic stewardship and recyclable packaging are as important as the perceived nutritional benefits of their food.
“We care about our customers and the poultry industry in Asia Pacific, and hope this webinar has given them unique insight on the economic outlook as they plan their future operating activities,” commented Dr. Peter Fisher.
“I found the webinar incredibly helpful, as it included information and viewpoints from different angles that we may need to anticipate to cope with, such as the influences and changes in the animal protein business caused by the pandemic. The pandemic-induced disruptions will lead us toward a more efficient and precise farming and marketing system that involves a safer working environment for the employees and continual improvement in food safety and security,” explained Dr. Teguh Prajitno, Head of Poultry Health at Japfa Comfeed Indonesia. “Thanks to Aviagen for organizing and a very special thanks to the great moderator and the speaker.”
Golam Maula, Senior Deputy General Manager (Production & Operation) of Nourish added, “The online session proved to be very beneficial for us, and the market outlook will help greatly with our future forecasting and planning.
Throughout the global pandemic, Aviagen Asia has remained in close contact with its customers, hosting webinars and other virtual events to share the latest industry and developments and best management practices. In 2019, the company organized a similar event to explore the economic impact of COVID-19 on the poultry industry in Asia.