Polish poultry farmers are increasingly focusing on growing ducks, intending to push the production performance to a record height in 2022, the National Chamber of Poultry and Feed Producers (KIPDiP) said.
In 2022, the Polish duck population is expected to reach 25-27 million heads, up 40-50% compared to 021, Katarzyna Gawrońska, director of KIPDiP, estimated, adding that last year, this figure stood at 18 million heads, while a decade ago at 3.2 million heads.
“This is a cosmic pace of growth,” Gawrońska said, estimating that Poland is ranked third in terms of duck meat production in Europe, after France and Hungary.
This year’s growth is projected to push Poland to second place on this list. “In the past, we already had months when we slaughtered more ducks than Hungarians,” Gawrońska said. “With the current trends in the production of duck meat in Poland staying put, we project that Poland will take over Hungary in terms of duck meat output in 2021.”
“Polish duck meat exports are growing faster than that in any other livestock segment”
In 2021, France produced 177,000 tonnes of duck meat, compared to 90,000 tonnes in Hungary, 57,000 tonnes in Poland, and 20,000 tonnes in Germany and Bulgaria, she reported.
KIPDiP reported that the strong upward trend in duck meat production stems from the huge export demand for duck meat (primarily within Europe), bird flu outbreaks in France (including at duck farms), and the slow but systematic changes in the culinary habits of Poles who are beginning to embrace duck meat as a part of their food basket.
The Polish duck meat market has managed to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, KIPDiP warned that the wave of lockdown hampered sales of duck meat both in the domestic and export market, primarily through the HoReCa segment. A sudden drop in sales hit the farm-gate prices of duck meat, undermining the profitability of Polish duck farms.
However, the financial situation of the duck market noticeably improved in 2021.
Polish duck meat exports are growing faster than that in any other livestock segment, the Central Statistical Office of Poland estimated in early 2022. For instance, sales to foreign customers totalled €46 million in 2020. Most export supplies are landed in the European markets, including in Germany (46% of exports), Great Britain (11%), France (7%), Lithuania (6%), the Czech Republic (6%), Denmark (6%), Romania (5%), and Estonia (5%), the Central Statistical Office estimated.