EU-27 broiler production will grow less than 1% in 2010 to 8.7 million metric tons, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Imports could increase from 710,000 in 2009 to 720,000 in 2010. The report said that some observers predict EU broiler imports from China will increase from 3,800 metric tons in 2009 to 10,000 metric tons in 2010.

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The European Union’s top poultry-consuming countries are expected to be the United Kingdom (1.5 million metric tons), Spain (1.1 million metric tons), France (895,000 metric tons), Germany (835,000 metric tons) and Italy (694,000 metric tons).

Exports from the European Union are expected to fall slightly from 777,000 metric tons in 2009 to 770,000 in 2010, but that’s still higher than the 737,000 metric tons exported in 2008. The higher numbers in 2009 and 2010 can be attributed to the weakening of the euro.