• GVP $917 million est. Up 10% year-on-year.
  • Labour availability and rising feed and other costs impacted production.
  • Prices were up strongly, rising at the fastest pace since 2015.
The poultry sector continued to face a challenging operating environment during the year. Whilst COVID-induced demand volatility eased, supply chain disruptions, rising costs, including higher feed costs and labour shortages continued to impact production. Supermarkets and food service reported some shortages in chicken in early 2023. In an effort to recover rising input costs, retail prices for chicken rose at the fastest pace since 2008. Despite the price increase, chicken meat retained a significant price advantage to red meat.


Average chicken slaughter weight by state (kg) 151

  • NSW
  • Vic
  • Qld
  • Other
NSW produces approximately 35% of Australia’s chicken meat and is the largest chicken meat producing state. In 2022-23, NSW chicken meat production increased 1.8% to 495,023 tonnes. 151 Slaughter was up 7.1% however average carcase weight fell 4.9% to 2.07 kilograms. 151 The fall in average bird weight was partially a response to higher weights in 2022 as demand disruptions due to COVID-19 meant birds were retained longer on farms. In 2023 supply disruptions resulted in a shortage of chicken which meant some birds were slaughtered earlier than normal.


The producer price of poultry is estimated to have increased by 7.6% year-on-year to $2.43/kg. 2 This was the fastest rate of price increase since 2015 as processors sought to recover significant increases in input costs, including higher labour, fuel, electricity and feed costs. Despite these price increases the processing sector experienced some margin contraction as they battled significant supply chain challenges as well as cost increases. Retail prices also rose at the fastest pace since 2008 and on average were 8.8% higher. 178 24

With red meat prices actually falling during the year the price gap between chicken and beef narrowed by approximately 5%. However, chicken continues to enjoy a significant price advantage being approximately 4 times cheaper than beef. 178 24

Chicken retail annual price change (%) 151


Chickens in a barn
Australian poultry meat is mainly grown for the domestic market, with very little exported. Nevertheless, Australian exports have been growing consistently over the last 10 years and reached $127 million in 2023, up 23%. 35 Papua New Guinea ($44 million, up 31% year on year) is Australia’s largest export market followed by the Philippines ($27 million, up 45%) and Vanuatu ($12 million, up 59%). 35 Whilst exports to Singapore are smaller, ($3.3 million, up 110%) they are growing strongly following streamlined import processes in 2022. 35 NSW poultry exports were up 28% to $25 million. 35


Like many industries in Australia at present, rising costs are a significant challenge for poultry production. As an intensive industry, feed and labour costs are significant inputs and the cost of both continues to increase. Even at higher wages, labour availability for processing is also an ongoing challenge. However, demand is expected to remain robust in an environment where the cost of living is becoming more important. Although higher costs are pushing up the price of chicken, at the same time that the price of red meats is falling, its price advantage over beef is so significant, consumers are expected to continue buying.

Stronger Primary Industries Strategy

Digital food safety tools

Strategic Outcome

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Food Safety and Animal Welfare
  • 3.1 Prepare for and reduce the occurrence of food safety risks
Digital food safety tools screenshot

The Food Authority continued to provide digital, accessible self-service tools for staff, industry and consumers.

Online training for authorised officers under the NSW Food Act 2003 went live in December 2022. The new online course was a collaboration between the NSW Food Authority and Tocal College. The course targets all officers responsible for food safety activities under the Food Act 2003 ie local government (~490), DPI officers (~60) and Third-Party Auditors (~50). Topics such as Inspections and Audits, Investigations and Food Labelling are explored in detail.

A self-service tool for industry supporting the new national food Standard 3.2.2.A Food Safety Management Tools went live in June 2023. This tool helps food businesses meet food handler training requirements under the new national standard, which commences 8 December 2023. The new training, based on a Victorian product, was produced in-house by Tocal College making it cost-efficient and avoiding the need for an expensive Learning Management System. Go to https://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/training/food-handler-basics-training

New videos are available on the Food Authority's YouTube channel. Topics in the curated “For businesses” playlist include what to expect from audits and inspections, cleaning and sanitising, food allergen rules and general requirements for retail businesses. There are new videos for consumers on the golden rules of food safety and understanding food labels. Go to https://www.youtube.com/@NSWFoodAuthority