May 7, 2024


The state of China's poultry layer industry in 2023

An eFeedLink Exclusive

A total of 88 new layer farms were built across China in 2023, with a cumulative layer capacity of 148.3 million birds.


Among these farms, 60 have the capacity to rear one million or more layer hens, accounting for about 68.2% of newly added production capacity.


The Chinese layer industry mainly consists of small- and medium-sized farms, with about 75% of farms rearing less than 100,000 layer hens. In 2023, there are 68 companies with an inventory of over one million laying hens. The combined layer population of these farms exceeds 218 million birds, accounting for only about 18.1% of China's total population of laying hens.


The combined layer inventory of the top 10 egg producers was 112.05 million birds, accounting for about 9.96% of China's total layer population at the end of 2023.


Chinese layer farming remains concentrated in north, east and central China. Hebei's layer inventory accounts for nearly 80% of the breeding stock in the northern regions, Shandong accounts for nearly 40% of the breeding stock in east China and Hubei accounts for nearly 50% of the breeding stock in the central region.


In 2023, the combined layer inventory of China's northwest region, which includes five provinces and one autonomous region, namely Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang, was 26 million birds. At least four layer farms and processing facilities were built in Xinjiang. These facilities have a total rearing capacity of over 12.6 million birds, 50% above Xinjiang's eight million layer population last year.


One new layer farm in Xingjiang — Xinjiang Bole City Xinjiang Manduna Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Development — planned to build a farm with the capacity to rear six million productive hens and two million maturing pullets.


The rapid growth in the number of large-scale farms is set to change China's layer industry as the number of medium and small-scale layer farms begin to diminish. However, if egg consumption in China does not increase in tandem, the expansion of China's layer production capacity in the next few years can lead to a serious oversupply. Still, there is room to steer the flow of supply due to a large proportion of medium and small-scale farms in the layer industry, which — with their lower capital investments — can control production more easily than bigger producers.


- David Lin, eFeedLink

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