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EU to become a net importer of poultry meat

Posted on 14. April, 2011.

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The European Union will become a net importer of poultry meat by 2016, with imports surpassing exports by 155,000 metric tonnes in 2020, according to a report by the European Commission on agricultural markets.

The report states that as in 2008, poultry remained the only meat sector with an expanding output in 2009. This expansion was driven by its relative price-competitiveness and advanced degree of convenience compared with other meat products. However, in order to remain competitive in the wake of constrained consumer demand and the relatively low and increasingly competitive pig meat prices, EU broiler market prices declined substantially in the last quarter of 2009. While production reached slightly below 11.7 million metric tonnes in 2009, the annual rate of increase remained marginal at 0.7%. The impact of recession was visible in poultry meat imports, which declined by almost 2% with the product mix displaying a switch from more expensive breast meat to cheaper cuts.

Demand for poultry meat is projected to recover over the medium term, increasing by almost 10% on aggregate to exceed 12.7 million metric tonnes in 2020. While poultry meat production is expected to grow by almost 7% on aggregate reaching 12.5 million metric in the same period. Prospects for poultry meat exports are constrained by the assumed strengthening of the Euro, and the EU will gradually lose its net exporter status with net imports reaching 155,000 metric tonnes in 2020.

Overall, prospects for the EU poultry market remain fairly upbeat despite the gradual reversal in the net trade position. But, similarly to the pig meat sector, the poultry production prospects would remain conditional on a strong recovery in EU demand. Animal disease related concerns also remain a key uncertainty regarding the outlook for the poultry sector.

Click here to read the full report.

In picture: Bantam Hen. Photo by Rosendahl.

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