Poultry meat production in the European Union is expected to continue increasing, however this growth is forecast to slow as beef and pork production recovers, says the European Commission in its publication, Short Term Outlook for the EU arable crops, meat and dairy markets in 2014 and 2015.

After a period of slow growth toward the end of 2013, poultry prices started to increase in 2014 to reach EUR199 (US$271)/100 kg, 3.4 percent higher than the average recorded for 2013-2014.

With an increase in production, lower exports and slightly higher imports, consumer demand is expected to continue picking up to reach 21.6 kg per capita in 2014, and 21.7 kg per capita in 2015, the Commission notes.

Poultry exports/imports

A decline in exports is expected this year for the second year in a row. Shipments to Ukraine may drop further due to the Ukrainian government’s target to increase self-sufficiency and also as a result of the uncertainty stemming from political tensions and the related Ukrainian currency devaluation. Exports to Russia have been declining throughout the past three years as the result of a similar self-sufficiency policy.

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Despite the reorientation of some of EU exports to other destinations, exports this year are likely to further contract as the higher volumes shipped to South Africa and Benin will not compensate for the declines to Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine.

As far as imports are concerned, the decrease in shipments of poultry meat coming from Thailand due to the unstable political situation has been compensated for by an increase in poultry products coming from Brazil, with overall imports expected to stabilize at the 2013 level over the period examined.