EU chicken meat exports expected to remain flat in 2024 - GAIN

Chicken exports decreased by 1.8% in 2023
calendar icon 6 March 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

In 2023, EU chicken meat exports decreased by 1.8% driven by an 18% drop in EU chicken meat exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo and an 11% drop in exports to Saudi Arabia, two major markets for EU chicken, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

Other markets which saw a decline in EU exports included Ukraine, Cuba, Liberia, and Malaysia. Even though EU export prices to Saudi Arabia decreased by 7% in 2023, prices are still 16% higher than in 2021.

By comparison, in 2023, the Saudi import price for Brazilian chicken meat fell by 23%. Overall, with rising production costs across the EU, EU chicken meat exports are now generally less competitive, especially in African markets.

The UK remains the largest market for EU chicken meat (up 1%), driven by strong exports from Poland and Germany that effectively compete with Thai, Brazilian, Chinese, and Ukrainian chicken meat. South Africa, which used to be a major customer of EU chicken (up to 122,000 MT in 2019), imported less than 2,300 MT in 2022. In 2023, South Africa imports of EU chicken meat rose to 12,500 MT as HPAI restrictions eased trade with the Netherlands, Spain, and Ireland.

EU chicken meat exports to Ukraine in 2023 decreased by 14%. As Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine continues to disrupt trade flows, the purchasing power of Ukrainian consumers is very limited.

Mechanically separated meat (MSM), which used to be exported from Poland to Ukraine, is now produced and consumed locally. High value cuts produced in Ukraine are increasingly exported to the EU to generate revenue.

HPAI outbreaks will likely continue to impact EU chicken meat exports. While EU chicken meat production costs have stabilised due to lower energy and feed prices, competition from less expensive Ukrainian chicken meat will continue to constrain opportunities for export. Thus, EU chicken meat exports are expected to remain flat at 2023 levels.

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