Irish Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Poultry and Eggs17 September 2012
The 'Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 2011/2012' provides a reference for all those who are interested in monitoring the performance of the agri-food sector. It provides an analysis of the structure and performance of the sector and it quantifies the benefits EU membership has had in terms of budget and trade. It also provides a view of likely trends in the sector over the coming months.
General Market Situation 2011
The poultry sector continued to face considerable challenges during 2011. Chief among these were the continued increase in cereal, and ultimately feed, costs and significant pressure from imports. In the current economic climate consumers regard poultry as a value-for-money food and this has been reflected in a small increase in consumption.
Output in Ireland
In 2011, the output value of the poultry sector was €154 million, up 15 per cent on 2010.
Notwithstanding the significant increase in cereal prices, producer and wholesale prices in the sector remained steady throughout 2011. Poultry is normally reared under contract to processors, for a pre-agreed price, and therefore poultry producers are not subject to the same price fluctuations as other farmers. EU broiler prices increased by almost seven per cent during 2011.
Slaughtering of poultry amounted to 84.5 million birds during 2011 – an increase of almost three per cent on 2010 levels.
The value of Irish poultry meat exports in 2011 is estimated to have increased by three per cent and reached some €210 million. Despite some competitive pressures in processed product, volumes to the UK have risen slightly. Trade to Continental Europe, particularly France and to Asia provided most of the increase. The UK remains our largest single export market.
Outlook for 2012
Irish production is forecast to remain stable during 2012 in common with the EU as a whole.
However, as with pigmeat, the impact of cereal price increases will influence output decisions
by producers as the year progresses. EU production is forecast to rise marginally.
New EU proposals providing for the conversion of production systems to 'enriched cages' came into operation from 1 January 2012. These proposals, which were made on animal welfare grounds, have been in train for a number of years. To this end, the Department managed a 'Poultry Welfare Scheme' in order to assist producers in converting to the new production systems. While the number of producers involved in caged egg production have fallen, the overall size of the flock will remain stable at approximately 1.25 million due to new entrants and consolidation amongst existing producers.
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