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Poland’s position as European poultry powerhouse strengthened

03-01 | |
In 2020, Poland was a net exporter of day-old chicks, while now it has to import them from other European countries to meet the growing demand. Photo: Canva
In 2020, Poland was a net exporter of day-old chicks, while now it has to import them from other European countries to meet the growing demand. Photo: Canva

In October 2023, the Polish poultry industry is believed to have produced the highest monthly output of hatched broiler chicks ever.

Nearly 136 million broiler chicks hatched at poultry farms in Poland in October 2023, which is 10 million more than the previous year and 9 million more than in September of 2023, the Polish National Chamber of Poultry and Feed Producers (KIPDiP) calculated. This is believed to be the highest monthly output ever achieved by the Polish poultry industry.

It is expected that this record will pave the way to a yearly production record, KIPDiP forecasted, calculating that roughly 1.5 billion chickens will be slaughtered in the country by the end of the year.

“Such rapid development is typically Polish. No one in Europe can compete with us, both in absolute terms and in terms of growth dynamics,” Gawrońska said.

Over the past 8 years, Poland expanded poultry production by nearly 50%, Katarzyna Gawrońska, director of the National Chamber of Poultry and Feed Producers, commented. Poland is not just the largest European broiler meat producer – its poultry industry is also the fastest-growing in the EU, she emphasised.

Encouraging growth

The past several years’ growth has become a big challenge for Polish hatcheries who struggle to keep up. In 2020, Poland was a net exporter of day-old chicks, while now it has to import them from other European countries to meet the growing demand.

In 2023, Poland was the world’s seventh-largest broiler meat producer. The country manufactures twice as much poultry meat as is needed to meet its own demand. “In the context of our export achievements, the production growth is encouraging because the increase in exports will benefit not only the poultry industry but our country’s entire economy,” Gawrońska said.

Challenges down the road

In 2024, however, a mix of factors could imperil the growth of production and exports. “We are afraid that the growing value of the zloty in relation to foreign currencies may significantly harm poultry exports,” Gawrońska warned.

Poland ranks third in terms of poultry exports globally, behind only the US and Brazil, commented Krzysztof Badowski, the managing partner of Strategy & Polska. Rising feed and energy costs will constitute the main challenge for the industry next year, he added.

Duck production in the spotlight

Some opportunities are offered by other segments. In 2022, duck hatchings scaled up production by 71%, and this production is likely to be maintained through 2024.

“However, it should be borne in mind that in absolute values, the production of ducklings in Poland is approximately 50 times lower than the production of chicks for slaughter,” Gawrońska said.

Vorotnikov
Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent





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