Despite fewer outbreaks in recent months around the world, avian influenza remains a major concern for the global poultry industry, according to Rabobank’s latest Poultry Quarterly Q3 report. However, the outlook for the industry is strong due to “bullish market fundamentals,” steady supply, low feed costs and high beef prices, researchers say.

A decline in avian influenza outbreaks has also given the industry crucial time it needed to recover.

“The performance in most regions is currently improving, but the industry should have optimal biosecurity as its first priority, as avian influenza pressure is still significant,” said Nan-Dirk Mulder, animal protein analyst at Rabobank. “Any new case can have a big impact on regional and global trade streams, as we have seen in the past months, in which Brazil and Thailand have taken further market share in global poultry trade from the US and China.”

According to Rabobank, the expectation that China will face a shortage in poultry and pork supply next year could become a major swing factor for the global poultry industry and further spread of the virus to key US production areas remains a wildcard for the remainder of 2015.

Regional outlook for the poultry industry:

European Union: Strong market conditions with healthy market balance and restrictive supply growth.

US: Strong margins despite avian influenza trade bans.

Brazil: Weak local economy leads to trading-down effect, lifting poultry consumption.

China: Some improvement in poultry markets due to increasing pork prices.

 Russia: Improved performance due to lower feed costs and price support from high beef and pork supply.