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Ukraine partially resumes poultry exports to EU

Starting 20 March, Ukraine resumed poultry exports to the EU from provinces unaffected by the HPAI outbreak in December of 2020. According to local analysts, export restrictions were painful for Ukraine.

“The average monthly volume of poultry meat exports to the EU is about 10,000 tonnes. The ban on exports from December onwards significantly affected the total poultry meat export from Ukraine, as its EU share in overall sales averages 25 to 28%. This large chunk could not be absorbed by other export destinations,” explained Svetlana Lytvyn, a Ukraine Agribusiness Club analyst. Consequently, Ukraine’s poultry exports dropped by 22.1% in January of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year, to 29,110 tonnes. Apart from the EU, several other countries also banned poultry imports from Ukraine, including Singapore, Morocco, Tunis, and Japan.

After an export setback due to an AI outbreak, Ukrainian officials got meat flowing again in a few weeks. Photo: Koos Groenewold
After an export setback due to an AI outbreak, Ukrainian officials got meat flowing again in a few weeks. Photo: Koos Groenewold

Ukraine officials put a lot of effort into re-opening poultry meat exports to the EU, given the importance of this market. “The negotiations on zoning principles and export resumption procedures are as simple as rescuing Bridget Jones from a Thai prison – with a lot of calls and separate approval steps in all European countries. Luckily, it only took a few weeks to get exports flowing again,” Ukraine trade ambassador in the EU Taras Kachka wrote on his Facebook page.

Long term export is set to grow

Ukraine increased poultry meat exports by 4% last year to 431,000 tonnes, the national statistical service Gosstat stated. The country exported 108,690 tonnes of poultry to the EU, 18.8% down compared to the previous year. In monetary terms, Ukraine exported poultry meat for US$ 555 million last year, which was 4.1% lower than in 2019. According to Ukraine Agribusiness Club, Ukraine is expected to grow this figure to above US$ 1 billion by 2029. As explained by Andrey Martynenko, a Ukraine Agribusiness Club analyst, the country could take advantage of growing demand on emerging markets with expanding populations, primarily in Asia and Africa.

Ukraine’s Agromars poultry stops production
Ukraine’s second-largest broiler meat producer Agromars has completely stopped operations and is trying to sell off its farm assets and inventory.

Ukraine Economy Ministry has recently released a forecast saying that poultry exports from Ukraine are likely to drop for the first time in several years, by 0.9% compared to the previous year, to 430,000 tonnes. The domestic production is expected to be around 1.43 million tonnes. On the background of relatively poor domestic consumption, supply on the domestic market is expected to be 326,000 tonnes higher than the demand, the Ministry warned.