Broiler chickens©Tim Scrivener

Poultrymeat production across the EU rose by 3.6% in the first half of the year and is set to continue to increase due to affordable feed prices, according to the latest European Commission Short Term Outlook report.

Latest figures show the largest rise to be in the EU-N13 nations (typically east European countries that joined in 2004, 2007 and 2013), which saw a 10.3% jump in production, while in contrast, there was a small drop in production in Germany (-0.4%).

The report predicts a further rise in production during the second half of the year, thanks to a good crop harvest worldwide, resulting in a year-end rise of 2.6% more than the 13.6m tonnes produced last year.

Growth will continue in 2016, albeit at a slower pace.

See also: Profits surge in global poultry business

EU wheat production has once again topped 300m tonnes – although it was lower than last year’s bumper crop.

With global harvests also strong, there are comfortable levels of world wheat stocks (456m tonnes), meaning cereal prices remain under downward pressure.

Protein crop supply, notably soya bean, has also continued to rise in 2015.

The good harvest internationally, coupled with lower demand from China due to the slowing of its economy, mean prices will continue to be beneficial to the livestock sector, said the report.

EU poultrymeat exports rose by 2% in the first half of the year, and may be 3.5% higher by the end of December at 1.4m tonnes.

This is due to strong demand from some Asian and African countries, including South Africa, Benin, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

Meat imports also increased by 2% in the first half of the year, with Thailand strongly increasing its sales and taking some share from Brazil.

That country has been concentrating on its non-EU export market, but has also suffered an internal economic downturn, which has led domestic consumers to switch from beef to chicken.

EU poultrymeat prices suffered a fall in April, but have since recovered to €1.90-€1.95/kg (£1.39-£1.43) in recent months.

Consumption is also rising and is expected to reach 22.5kg a person this year and 22.7kg a person in 2016.