Affordable Feed Prices Boosted EU Poultry Growth Through 2015

EU - Continued affordable feed prices in 2015, thanks to another good crop harvest worldwide, paved the way to a further EU production growth in poultry meat, according to the latest EU Short Term Outlook report.
calendar icon 17 March 2016
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Throughout 2015, the increase in poultry meat production reached 3.7 per cent compared to 2014, up to 13.8 million tonnes, almost 1 percentage point more than anticipated.

Poland is the biggest poultry meat producer in the EU for the second year in a row, and showed the largest increase (+200,000 tonnes).

Worth noting is the decline of production in Germany (-23 000 tonnes or 1.5 per cent).

At the EU level, growth is expected to continue into 2016 and 2017 as well, but at a lesser pace, as consumption in the EU is reaching a more mature level and increased competition on the world market limits further development of exports.

Exports face more competition

EU poultry meat exports in 2015 stabilised around 1.35 million tonnes. Even though exports were still doing well in the first quarter of 2015 (+6 per cent), the situation worsened during the rest of the year.

The outbreaks of avian influenza in the southwest of France resulted in country-wide restrictions on imports by several trading partners.

Contrary to the pork sector, exports to the Philippines doubled. Other growing destinations were Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Ghana and Georgia. On the other hand, decreasing exports to Hong Kong were not fully compensated by expanding exports to China.

In addition, the EU is losing market share in its two most important export destinations, Benin and South Africa, to the benefit of the US and Brazil.

While world import demand was expected to increase by 200,000 tonnes in 2015, Brazil itself increased its exports to the world market by 230,000 tonnes, putting pressure on world prices (declining in the second half of 2015) and increasing competition on the international poultry market.

Overall 2016 EU export growth is expected to be limited to 0.5 per cent when compared to 2015 as more competition is expected from the US and Brazil on the world market.

EU poultry meat imports increased by close to 4 per cent in 2015. Despite the fact that volumes coming from Brazil showed a 3 per cent decline, Brazil remained the main exporter, representing more than half of the trade flow.

Thailand and Ukraine more than filled the gap left by Brazil.

The poultry tariff rate quotas attributed to Ukraine within the framework of the bilateral free trade agreement with the EU are used to different degrees. The first quota of 16,000 tonnes is completely filled (even the first quarter of 4000 tonnes in 2016 is already fully used), while only 22 per cent of the second quota of 20,000 tonnes was allocated in 2015.

On the other hand, Ukraine exported about 15,000 tonnes at full duty to the EU (Jan-Nov 2015).

After a drop in April, poultry meat prices recovered and were floating during summer between 190 and 195 EUR/100 kg c.w.e. on average.

During November and first half of December, the seasonal price drop was more pronounced compared to previous years, but recovered to some extent by the end of December-beginning of January.

After the strong increase in 2014, EU per capita consumption continued to increase in 2015 to 22.9 kg. It is expected to increase even further in 2016 and 2017 but at a slower pace.

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