Countries joining the European Union have been known to achieve increases in the production of poultry meat of up to 30 percent, according to Total Croatia News, but this has not occurred in Croatia.
Instead, the EU’s latest member state has experienced a stagnation in output for the last 5 years, according to the industry association, Croatiastočar. Croatia became the 28th country to join the EU in July of 2013.
Over the same period, there has been a 5 percent increase in the number of day-old chicks produced, and chick exports have increased faster than imports.
An end to turkey meat production in the region of Istria in 2012 has led to a marked decline in the national output of this meat.
What’s behind the weak performance?
Croatiastočar attributes the lackluster performance of Croatia’s poultry sector to an apparent reluctance by poultry businesses to take up grants from the state or EU pre-accession funds as well as to imports from other countries that offer subsidies or that have much larger industries that can take advantage of economies of scale.
Data supplied by the EU statistics agency, Eurostat, indicate that total poultry meat production in Croatia is recovering from a low point of 55,700 metric tons (mt) in 2013, reaching an estimated 63,400 mt in 2015. While this represents an increase of almost 14 percent over 2 years, Croatian output is low compared with the Top 3 EU poultry meat producers, Poland (2.011 million metric tons; mmt), France (1.718 mmt) and the UK (1.689 mmt).