BOTH sides of the poultry industry – poultry and eggs – had something in common last year besides a collapse in prices. They both raised production by around 3%, even though consumption rose by only 1%.

When it comes to imports, these apparently played a much less significant role overall that might have been imagined. In the case of poultrymeat, they were up by 2%.

In absolute terms, poultry imports rose by 5,000 tonnes compared with 46,000 tonnes of extra home production, against a background of 13,000 tonnes extra consumption.

The other side of the argument is that a few low-priced imports can play havoc with domestic pricing, although this is hard to substantiate on the figures above.

In the case of eggs, imports dropped by 13 per cent during the course of the year. Such figures play into the hands of the officials in Brussels, whose argument in recent months has been that much of the blame for the current state of UK markets should be laid at our own door.

  • For this and other stories, see Poultry World, 1 May-4 June, 1998

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    Poultry supply balance