What's new ? - 2017

What's new ? - 2017

Short-term outlook for EU poultry markets in 2017 and 2018

26 July, 2017

In 2016, EU poultry meat production grew in volume by 4.4 % compared to 2015, reaching 14.4 million t. Growth was driven by expanding production in Poland (+13 % or +257 300 t). EU production continued to rise in the first quarter of 2017, though at a lower rate (+1.9 %), as there has been a avian influenza epidemic since November 2016. With one exception, the countries that recorded the highest number of avian influenza cases saw a reduction in output: Bulgaria (-12.5 %), Hungary (-7.3 %), Germany (-1.3 %) and France (-0.2 %). Poland bucked the trend by increasing production, but only by 1.1 %. These reductions were offset by significant increases in other major producers less affected by the epidemic: the Netherlands (+1.6 %), Spain (+3.9 %) and the UK (+10.5 %). Overall, EU production is expected to increase by 1.7 % in 2017, in a context of strong competition and export restrictions on countries affected by avian influenza. The slowdown in production growth is expected to continue in 2018 (+0.8 %). 
EU broiler prices are slightly below 2016 levels. They stayed below EUR 180/100kg until the seasonal spike that raised prices from EUR 175/100kg in April to EUR 182/100kg in June. However, the gap between EU and Brazilian prices widened as the broiler price in Brazil dropped to EUR 100/100kg at the beginning of the year, and then to EUR 85/100kg in June. On the other hand, the price of US broilers overtook the EU price for the first time in May 2017 and continued on a rising trend, reaching EUR 219/100kg in June. The opposite price trends in Brazil and the US seem to be 2 sides of the same coin, as Brazil tries to improve lagging exports and the US benefits from high global demand as a result of the sanitary issues faced by competitors. Although EU prices are still relatively low, EU exports fell between January and April 2017, mainly because of the country-wide import bans imposed by some major partners. Exports to the 2 main export destinations for EU poultry in 2016 more than halved over those 4 months: South Africa (-58 %) and the Philippines (-62 %). In the case of South Africa, another reason for the lower figure is the imposition of a provisional safeguard duty of 13.9 % on imports from the EU of bone-in portions of chicken, which has been in place since December 2016. As a result, South Africa is no longer the EU’s main export destination, its share having fallen from 16 % to just 7 % (-43 900 t up to April). It is now the 6th major importer, after Hong Kong (10 %), Ukraine (9 %), Saudi Arabia (8 %), Benin (8 %) and Ghana (7.5%). Reductions in exports to South Africa have been offset by rising exports to Hong Kong (+36 %) and Ukraine (+58 %), and also to African markets such as Ghana (with a 49 % rise), RDC Congo (171 %) and Gabon (106 %), which have now an aggregate share of 16 %. EU exports are thus showing that they have the flexibility to adapt to various disruptions of trade, and moderate growth in exports is expected in 2017 (+1 %). The US has benefited greatly from the import bans and duties imposed by South Africa on EU countries, increasing its exports from 9 700 in 2016 to 35 000 t in the first quarter of 2017. The situation could change if South Africa begins to lift the bans and US prices stay above EU levels. Brazil, on the other hand, has not been able to benefit much from the situation, as its exports have also suffered restrictions since the meat scandal. Most restrictions on Brazilian exports have already been lifted, but the consequences are still unclear. On 12 June, the European Commission pointed to a range of critical deficiencies identified by a team of EU health inspectors and asked for a number of measures to be taken, including physical checks on all consignments from Brazil at EU entry points.
EU poultry meat imports fell by 5 % in volume in the first 4 months of 2017, compared with the same period in the previous year. Imports from the main suppliers fell significantly: Brazil (-6 %), affected by the meat scandal, and Thailand (-11 %). Thailand is increasing exports to other destinations, such as Japan and Malaysia, and taking advantage of shortages in China, which is experiencing severe outbreaks of bird flu across the country. On the other hand, Ukraine increased its share of imports into the EU to 60 % in the same period, even though there were almost no imports in January, as the EU had banned imports from Ukraine following the outbreak of bird flu in December 2016. By May 2017 Ukraine had used 50 % of its 16 800-tonne tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for poultry meat and preparations and only 18 % of the 20 000-tonne TRQ for chicken carcasses. In contrast to previous years, it is thus not expected that EU imports of poultry meat increase in 2017.
EU consumption per head of population is expected to rise from 23.8 kg in 2016 to 24.1 kg in 2017. It is expected to still rise in 2018, to 24.2 kg.