Poultry production in the Republic of Ireland is thought to have grown slightly in 2013 to stand at 127,000 tons, figures from the European Commission suggest. While turkey production declined, and duck remained stable, this was offset by higher broiler output.
Retail sales of fresh chicken in the country over the 52 weeks to November 10th, however, are recorded as being 3 percent lower.
The Irish food board, Bord Bia, notes that while a competitive market continued for poultry in 2013, poultry exports saw an improvement in prices and volumes.
Poultry exports up
Poultry exports grew by 4 percent over the year to reach EUR220 million (USD299 million). The sector's performance was ahead of that for pig meat, but lagged behind that of beef, which saw exports rise by 10 percent. Overall, Ireland's meat and livestock exports are thought to have grown by 8 percent in 2013.
The UK remains the largest export destination for Irish food and drink exports, accounting for 42 percent of the total, but for the poultry industry its importance is even greater. For chicken exports, the value of trade was largely unchanged in 2013, as stronger exports of processed poultry helped offset lower fresh and frozen volumes. Exports of poultry meat to the UK for the year were estimated at Euro 190 million, some 83 percent of the total.
Looking to 2014, Bord Bia notes that the prospects for meat and livestock remain broadly positive, with relatively tight supplies for most species and strong global prices.