China, Ukraine agree to mutual poultry meat trade deal

Representatives from the two nations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding over the bilateral trade in poultry meat.

SEINART, Bigstock
SEINART, Bigstock

Representatives from China and the Ukraine have signed a memorandum of understanding over the bilateral trade in poultry meat.

The agreement was reached following a third round of talks aimed to boost trade between China and the Central and Eastern European (CEEC) group.

Signing the memorandum in Ningbo city for Ukraine was Volodymyr Lap, Head of the Ukraine’s State Committee for Consumer Goods and Consumer Protection.

The agreement will promote the development and strengthen the cooperation and expansion of bilateral trade between Ukraine and the People’s Republic of China, according to Lap, as well as broadening the range of imported and exported goods.

Key to the deal was agreement over the mutual exchange of information between the states on issues relating to poultry meat trade, including measures to control avian influenza and other diseases, risk assessments, the conduct of inspections, and sanitary requirements.

It has recently been alleged that Ukraine’s top poultry meat company, Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP) has been exploiting a loophole in a 2016 trade agreement with the European Union (EU) to evade tariffs and quotas for chicken meat. Politico reports anger expressed by representatives of several EU poultry producers’ associations that MHP has been exporting an obscure chicken cut tariff-free to poultry plants in the Netherlands, Slovakia and Poland. There, a bone is being easily sliced out, leaving the high-value chicken breast, which is threatening poultry producers in the EU who have higher production costs than in Ukraine.

Controller of MHP, Yuryi Kosyuk, denies any wrongdoing, and claims his firm is trading in good faith.

In its latest quarterly financial report, MHP has recently reported that a 28 percent increase in poultry meat exports helped to boost the firm’s revenue for the period up by 10 percent compared with the same quarter in 2017. Trade was particularly strong to the Middle East & North Africa, and to the EU.

MHP is by some margin Ukraine’s largest poultry company, with a 38 percent share of the market, according to a Kyiv Post report earlier this year. Of the other 100 companies contributing to the nation’s poultry meat production of 1.2 million metric tons were Agromar, with a 38 percent share, and Agro-Oven with six percent.

Ukraine’s output of chicken meat was just under 1.02 million metric tons in 2013, according to FAOstat, the statistics arm of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. This is the most recent year for which this data has been published. The number of chickens slaughtered in the country has been in decline since 2013 — when the figure was just over 687 million — to almost 619 million in 2016.

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