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USDA International Egg and Poultry


26 November 2014

USDA International Egg and Poultry 25 November 2014USDA International Egg and Poultry 25 November 2014


USDA International Egg and Poultry

European Union

Poultry meat production in the EU-28 has been expanding for several years and continued growth is expected in 2014 and 2015. According to a European Commission analysis of the EU meat markets, lower feed prices, reduced pig meat availably and sustained demand are expected to drive the 2014 production up by 1.9% compared to 2013.

More poultry meat production is expected in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland, while decreases in production are expected in Italy and France. The decline in French production is partly due to the loss of export markets in the Middle East after the end of the EU-28 export subsidy scheme. The recovery expected in beef and pig meat production in 2015 could limit the expansion of poultry meat to 0.7%.

While all sources show that total meat consumption in the EU-29 has been negatively impacted by the economic recession, broiler meat, which is the cheapest source of protein, was less affected.

However, its consumption growth is less than demographic growth, which means that per capita consumption is basically stable. Several market analyses showed that, while EU-28 consumers generally switched from beef or pork meat to broiler meat, the low income consumers reduced their protein purchases, switching to carbohydrate products (bread, pasta) with the exception of Spain, where pork meat is preferred over broiler meat.

Imports into the EU retreated slightly in the first seven months of 2014 compared to last year, with fewer shipments from Thailand due to political tensions and to their reorientation to close markets (as Laos or Japan). In addition, Brazil is increasingly supplying the Russian, Saudi Arabian and Chinese markets.

Therefore, 2014 imports are expected to decline (-3%) for the second year in a row and to remain at this level into 2015. Brazil and Thailand remain the largest suppliers of broiler meat to the EU-28, followed by Chile and China. Imports from China are exclusively cooked and prepared broiler meat. Exports of poultry are expected to decline as well for the second year in a row.

The slight increase registered in the first part of the year was mainly driven by Russia, which was compensating for lower pig meat supply. The introduction of an import ban on poultry too stopped this possibility. Increased demand from South Africa, Philippines and Hong Kong will not be able to outstrip the declines in volumes to Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Yemen and Ghana (and the closed Russian market).

Around 40% of the total quantity in carcass weight (1.3 million tons on average) is shared between Saudi Arabia, Benin, South Africa and Hong Kong. Russia ranks fifth place in EU export destinations with 8% or an average of 100,000 tons of poultry meat, mainly fresh and frozen, exported by France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Exports are expected to resume their growth in 2015, especially since lower grain prices will reduce production costs, increasing EU-28 broiler price competitiveness.

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