In comparison, exports were just 10 percent higher at 390,000 tonnes. Taking into account imports of both processed and salted poultry meat, at 404,000 tonnes, the total volume of poultry meat imported was in excess of that exported. It is expected that the EU poultry trade balance will remain negative for the remainder of the year.

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Brazil and Thailand remain the primary suppliers to the EU market. It is anticipated that the quotas for cooked chicken and salted poultry meat (excluding the portion allocated to Thailand due to AI restrictions) will be filled this year. By June, Thailand had filled around 52 percent of its EU cooked chicken quota while Brazil had used almost half its allocation. Brazil supplied 87 percent of the fresh and frozen poultry meat imported over the six-month period. Its market share slipped slightly as supplies from Argentina, particularly of whole frozen chicken, increased.

EU poultry meat exports face strong competition on world markets from Brazil and the strength of the Euro is also dampening trade, making EU exports more expensive. Russia, which took 21 percent of the total exported in the six months to June, is likely to remain the major market, importing predominantly frozen chicken legs, as well as some mechanically-deboned meat.