Layers shrink, meat grows in EU poultry

By Poultry World staff

EGG producers in the EU have felt less confident this year.

Placings of day-old layers across the Community have dropped overall in the 8 months to August, by 1.5% for the former original 12 member states.

Key industries in north western Europe have led the cut-backs.

Dutch egg chick numbers were down by 6% on the same period last year; French chicks by 5.5%, and those in the UK by 4%, as well as those in Belgium and Denmark.

Only Germany has bucked the trend in the region, with expansion of 4%.

Further south, Italy has raised its placings by 11%, which will be a response to the ravages of the avian influenza outbreak.

Spain, however, has been cutting back as well.

Things are more positive in the meat sector where broiler chicks are up by 3% to August and turkey poults by 7%.

Despite the French dominance of the EU turkey sector (France accounts for more than 50% of all turkey grown), the industry has not contributed to the European turkey expansion this year.

Italy, the Netherlands and Germany were the prime movers, with only the UK cutting back among the principal industries.

However, the overall EU figure is coloured by the situation in Italy, which accounted for 8 million of the 11m extra poults placed in the EU during the first 8 months.

The same applies in the broiler sector, where Italy placed 50m of the extra 94m chicks, but there was also consistent if more restrained expansion across the rest of the EU.

The exceptions were the Netherlands and Belgium, with marked cutbacks.

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