Chicken, which accounts for an estimated 96.7% of the Australian poultry industry revenue, is the country's most consumed meat on a per capita basis, according to a market research report from IBISWorld.
Over the five years through 2012 to 2016, the research company expects industry revenue to grow at an annualised 4.0% to reach $431.3 mill. In 2012/13, the industry is expected to grow 1.3%.
The industry is characterised by a large number of small farms, mostly family-run operations. The majority of poultry is produced by growers under contract to the major poultry processors Inghams and Baiada.
Farmers have supply contracts with processors, with pricing calculated on a price-per-bird basis. For this reason, farmer profit margins are somewhat protected from rising input costs. The major of poultry processors are vertically integrated and operate in the industry through their own in-house farms.
The poultry industry's strong performance is expected to continue over the next five years.
Although grower fees are expected to increase only marginally, growers will be protected by their ability (provided by the ACCC) to band together and collectively bargain. Industry consolidation is expected to continue as larger conglomerates like ProTen and Rural Funds Management build more sheds and ramp up production.