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Broiler Production to Grow in 2017 and 2018 in EU as Demand Increases - Washington Report

The European Union-28 (EU) broiler sector is expected to grow in 2017 and 2018, driven by a slow but steady increase in domestic demand. Brazil and Thailand will remain the largest suppliers of broiler meat to the EU-28. Ukraine, the third-largest supplier, is benefitting from its 2014 EU-28 free trade agreement.

EU-28 broiler meat exports are expected to decrease in 2017 due to HPAI related embargoes in several export destinations, notably South Africa. Exports are expected to resume growth in 2018 driven by a large increase in exports of low-priced cuts, bone-in cuts and mechanically deboned meat (MDM) to Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia, according to USDA’s September 9, 2017 GAIN Report.

The EU-28 broiler sector is expected to continue to grow in 2017 and 2018 due to slowly increasing domestic demand. The economic downturn in Europe has not negatively impacted sales because broiler meat is less expensive than other types of meat.

Overall, EU-28 2017 production varies in different regions, but broiler meat production is expected to increase from 2016 in most major EU producing countries. Poland has strong growth and it is now the leading EU-28 broiler meat producing country. The significant decline in grain and protein prices since 2014 boosted broiler meat competitiveness and increased operating margins even as retail prices decreased. This trend is expected to continue in 2017 and 2018.

The EU-28 broiler imports are expected to decrease in 2017 and 2018. Brazil and Thailand remain the largest suppliers of broiler meat to the EU-28, but Brazilian exports are expected to decline due to sanitary concerns about tainted products and improper sanitary oversight in Brazil. Ukrainian broiler meat exports to the EU-28 surged following completion of the Deep Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between the EU-28 and Ukraine in 2014 that provides a TRQ for broiler meat. Ukraine’s exports are expected to reach 64,000 MT in 2017 including 20,000 MT of fresh broiler carcasses for further processing in the EU-28.

EU-28 broiler meat exports are expected to decrease slightly in 2017 due to HPAI related embargoes in several EU-28 export destinations, notably South Africa, and the stagnant demand in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, exports of low-priced cuts, bone-in cuts and mechanically deboned meat (MDM) to Sub-Sahara Africa and Asia are booming driven by lower production costs due to lower world grain and protein prices that will increase EU-28 broiler price competitiveness. EU-28 exports of frozen cuts to Hong Kong are also expected to increase in 2017, because of increasing consumption. The growth of exports is expected to resume in 2018 once HPAI related embargoes are lifted.

While all sources show that total meat consumption in the EU-28 has been negatively impacted by the economic downturn in Europe, poultry meat as the cheapest source of protein was generally unaffected. Its consumption per capita is stable or slightly increasing. In the EU-28, sales of cheaper broiler cuts increased faster than sales of more expensive parts, such as breasts or whole birds.