Although Estonian poultry meat production is on the rise, domestic supplies do not cover growing domestic demand. Because of this Estonia is a net importer of poultry meat.
Estonian poultry production is the smallest among Baltic countries. The rate of self-sufficiency in poultry meat is estimated at 60%, according to a recent GAINS report by the USDA. In 2014 poultry meat production amounted to 19,400 MT, 7% higher than in 2013. It is estimated that in 2015 production of poultry meat will continue to grow due to higher domestic demand and favourable prices for feed.
Major players in Estonian poultry segment
In early 2014 HKScan Corporation centralised its Baltic poultry production at its renovated Tabasalu facility. The Tabasalu facility is responsible for slaughtering, cutting, deboning and processing of poultry meat for the entire Baltic region in HKScan Group. The plant took over the production of poultry products previously manufactured at the Loo facility near Tallinn.
The investment enabled Tallegg to double its Baltic production capacity and respond to growing demand for poultry products in Estonia and export markets. The Tabasalu facility manufactures a range of products sold chiefly in the Baltic countries, including Tallegg fresh chicken products, smoked poultry products, marinated and oven products.
Poultry brand change
In Estonia the former Tallegg brand has changed to Eggo (part of Dava Foods). Tallegg, one of the largest poultry producers in Estonia, has 6 poultry farms in the area of Tallinn. In early 2013 Tallegg launched its new poultry farm in West-Viru County. The new farm is designed to simultaneously keep 224,000 chickens.
The investment in chicken production was followed by construction of a new poultry processing plant in Tabasalu. The new plant provides processing of 20,000 MT of poultry per year. In 2014 Estonia's organic poultry production declined by 6% to 21,020 birds.
There is a potential for sales growth in Estonian broiler meat. Consumption of poultry in Estonia in recent years has been constantly growing. In 2014, average per capita consumption of poultry meat in Estonia amounted to 23.4 kilograms, 1% higher than in 2013.
Estonia is a net importer of poultry meat. In the first 9 months of 2015 imports of poultry products amounted to 14,239 MT, an increase of 5% in comparison to the previous year. Lithuania is the major supplier of poultry meat to Estonia followed by Finland, Denmark and Latvia. Estonia imports mainly chicken cuts and edible offal. In 2014 Estonian exports of poultry meat amounted to 9,023 MT and were 11% lower than in 2013 mainly because of reduced shipments to Latvia.
In the first 9 months of 2015 volume of exports decreased by 1%, however, due to the decline of prices within the EU, the value of exports decreased by 18% and amounted to US $8 million. Main export destinations are Latvia, Finland and Lithuania. Estonia exports small amounts of poultry meat outside of the EU mainly to Laos and Thailand.