The European Union will become a net importer of poultry meat by 2016, with imports surpassing exports by 155,000 metric tons in 2020, according to a European Commission report on agricultural markets.

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EU consumption of poultry meat is expected to steadily rise through 2020, due largely to its low cost and convenience compared to other meat products, said the report. Consumption per capita is expected to stand at 24.7 kilograms in 2020, exceeding 2009 levels by more than 6%. Production is also expected to grow by almost 7% on aggregate from 2009 numbers (11.64 million tons) to 2020 (12.47 million tons). Exports will gradually decrease by 22% on aggregate, mostly due to a strong euro and relatively high prices which will hold back poultry shipments outside EU borders, according to the Commission.