Last year, Ukrainian poultry exports totalled US$852.9 million, which is 18.6% higher than in 2021, the Ukrainian Customs Service estimated.
In physical terms, Ukraine sold 413,000 tonnes to foreign customers, which is 10.3% down compared with the previous year. The key sales markets for Ukrainian poultry farmers were the Netherlands (29.6%), Saudi Arabia (25.8%) and Slovakia (7.6%).
Higher revenue was primarily secured by a rise in global broiler meat prices. In 2022, poultry prices rose by nearly 10% on the domestic market, while export prices climbed by almost a third against 2021.
On the other hand, Ukrainian poultry farmers continued to suffer from power outages. Sergiy Karpenko, executive director of the union of poultry farmers, told local publication, Zerkalo Nedeli, that the nearly constant electricity shortage in the common energy grid has had a negative impact on operations and drove prices up.
“Power outages are forcing manufacturers to revise their production plans and downsize operations to reduce potential losses,” he said. “The uninterrupted operation of electricity-powered equipment is critical.”
Ukrainian poultry farmers switch to diesel generators to provide backup electricity supply to poultry houses. However, diesel generators are in short supply. According to estimates by the Ministry of Economy announced on 15 December, only 20% of critical retail outlets and about 15% of bank branches are equipped with generators.
This figure is believed to be higher in the poultry industry, but still insufficient. Karpenko said that Ukrainian poultry farmers use available generators primarily to secure electricity supply to hatcheries. He explained that a lack of power would entail a loss of hatching eggs and young chicks, incurring huge losses to the business.
MHP, Ukraine’s largest poultry producer, faced complex challenges and operational disruptions after several of the country’s electricity generation stations were hit by missile attacks, the company said in its last quarterly report.
Operations at some MHP facilities had to shut down for a short period of time after these missile hits. As of today, MHP is again operating close to full capacity, using a combination of state grids, electricity generated at MHP’s biogas stations and diesel generators.
“However, events have shown that the situation can deteriorate seriously, quickly, and without notice,” MHP said.
In December 2022, MHP produced 57,000 tonnes of poultry, compared to 69,000 tonnes in December 2021, the company estimated.