TURKEY - Turkey's poultry exports reached over $450 million despite avian influenza outbreaks and turmoil in the region, making it the world's ninth largest poultry producer, according to the latest report from the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS).
The report said the number of broilers in 2015 reached 214 million with a 6.8 per cent increase compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of laying hens in 2015 reached 99 million with a 5.2 per cent increase compared with the previous year.
According to the Turkish Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association (BESD-BIR), total poultry meat production including broiler, turkey and the other poultry meat (backyard poultry and meat from laying hens) in 2014 was about 2 million MT and the sector increased by 8.8 per cent.
According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkSTAT), broiler meat production was 1,895 MMT and turkey production was 48,663 MT in 2014.
In 2015, broiler meat production apparently stagnated and realised 1,910 MMT. Broiler meat has a 93 per cent share in Turkey's total poultry meat production.
Lack of affordable feed holding producers back
Shortage of affordable feed inputs has been a problematic issue for poultry production recently, and the sector anticipates it will continue to be an issue to reach their goals for increased production in the future, the report said.
The problems encountered in supplying feed material to the sector has caused production costs to increase and it might become impossible to compete with other exporting countries.
The poultry sector has encountered many problems in raw material importation for feed due to the Biosafety Law. On the other hand, the report said the Turkish Biosafety Board has recently approved a few more corn and soybean shipments and their products for feed use in Turkey.
The new shipments should provide some relief to Turkish poultry producers, though import problems still remain.
Another problem with feed is that a new law, due to come into force from 1 January 2016, may prohibit the feeding of poultry by-products. This concerns producers as the Biosafety Law may mean they cannot obtain enough substitutes for this material.
Although the price of meat is at an all-time high, the report said this is not enough to keep poultry producers from struggling economically, because of the high price of feed.
Turkish poultry producers also consider manure laws an important issue, as some would like to use it for bioenergy and suggest subsidies should be provided, but there exists a regulatory tangle as different government departments cannot agree how to classify the manure.
Increased interest in free range and organic poultry consumption
Turkey surpasses the European Union in per capita consumption of broiler meat, with 19.39 kg per capita consumed in 2013 and 21 kg per capita in 2014.
Broiler meat has the biggest share of total poultry consumption, with consumers preferring drumsticks, which have a 40 per cent market share. Recent consumer concern over reports of GM-fed and rapidly growing chickens has led to an increased level of interest in free range or organic chicken.
According to the poultry sector in Turkey, there was no decrease of domestic consumption because of the HPAI outbreaks seen in spring months of 2015.
Exports affected by political and animal health issues
Turkish poultry exports declined 17 per cent in quantity in 2015 because of the geopolitical problems and avian influenza outbreaks.
The rapid devaluation of Turkey’s currency by 21 per cent drop in 2015 against many foreign currencies has had a major impact on feed costs for poultry producers.
Although the avian influenza outbreaks were not seen in commercial broiler flocks, Turkish poultry exports came to a stopping point in 2015 because Iraq banned Turkish poultry imports following the HPAI outbreaks.
Half of Turkey’s poultry product exports are to Iraq, and the economic losses resulting from the recent 2015 avian influenza outbreaks is estimated to be $410 million for Turkey.
Exports to Iraq have since resumed, but avian flu issues in northern Iraq are proving problematic for the movement of Turkish poultry exports through the country.
The Turkish poultry sector believes that poultry products export will resume at their previous pace in 2016 if Turkey does not face any HPAI cases.
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