Some fun poultry-industry facts for you: South Africa currently produces a healthy 1.6% of the global chicken volumes, compared with the US’s 19.6% and China’s 16.8%. Poultry is twice the size of beef as an industry, and 54% of all protein produced in SA has two legs and squawks. None of this can be exported, however, due to historical avian flu outbreaks in our ostrich population. And Brazil exports 2.5 times the volume of our entire production, some of which finds its way over here: of the 36kg each of us consumes per annum (yes, we do), about 6kg is imported – the equivalent, if you add it up, of the entire output of a Rainbow or an Astral, which explains why businesses like these get so exercised about imports. Each week, about 20million chickens meet their swift ends here, a number which could be increased to 24million should imports be removed from the equation.
Comment: Hard times in the industry, whose interests need to be responsibly balanced against lower prices in the fridge.