MHP, Ukraine’s largest poultry producer, may begin selling chicken to countries in the European Union in November. This marks the first time the EU has allowed any meat exports from Ukraine.
This is an important milestone for Ukrainian agricultural companies, opening a potentially large new market for their products. It also provides an alternative market to the Customs Union led by Russia, which opposes Ukraine’s association with the EU and has restricted some Ukrainian exports.
European Commission formally allowed imports of Ukrainian poultry, eggs and other products to the European Union, opening the market for Ukraine’s top agricultural holdings, such as London-listed MHP and Avangard, and the unlisted Agromars. Over the last years the largest poultry producers of the country has been struggling to initiate the first shipments.
Thanks to the opening of the EU market, Avangard and Ovostar could more than double their egg processing capacities, while MHP is considering buying a meat processing plant in the EU in the short to medium term, according to Ukraine analysts.
Previously Ukraine Ministry of Agriculture and Food forecast that in 2013 Ukraine poultry producers would be able to supply the EU market with 20,000 tonnes of poultry. It is now clear that this figure will not be achieved, however if the Association Agreement with the EU is signed, Ukraine will be able to sell 40,000 tonnes of poultry per year to the EU, starting 2014, according to the Ministry.