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Italy - Poultry Outlook 2010

by 5m Editor
20 August 2010, at 12:00am

The growth in production and per-capita poultry meat consumption in Italy is expected to be around four to five per cent this year, according to Stefano Baldi in the latest GAIN report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

Report Highlights

The negative effects of the global economic crisis on European (and Italian) meat consumption slowed broiler production growth to 4 per cent in MY 2009 although the broiler industry fared better than the pork and beef industries. Based on available data, broiler meat production is expected to increase in MY 2010 by four to five per cent. The broiler industry does not expect significant changes in MY 2010 both in total and in per-capita consumption.

Broiler Meat

Production

Italy is the 7th largest poultry producer in the EU-27, with one of the highest average yearly growth rates (+2.7 per cent) over the last five years.

Domestically, poultry production ranks behind beef and pork production in terms of volume and importance. Even so, the poultry industry is very efficient and vertically integrated.

The negative effects of the global economic crisis on European (and Italian) meat consumption slowed broiler production growth to four per cent in MY 2009, after a 12-per cent surge in 2008. Nevertheless, the broiler industry fared better than the pork and beef industries, which recorded +1.4 per cent and -0.9 per cent growth, respectively.

Poultry better performance is largely due to an increase in domestic demand due to the relatively lower prices for broiler meat compared to other kinds of meat. Moreover, in 2009, a significant fall in feed prices (mainly grains) and energy costs – 10 per cent lower than 2008 – combined with increasing prices driven by higher demand, allowed farmers to obtain higher margins. By the end of 2009, domestic supply exceeded demand bringing prices down and hampering the production growth in the first months of 2010.

The short- and medium-term forecast do not see much change in poultry meat production and consumption. Based on available data, broiler meat production is expected to increase in MY 2010 by four to five per cent.


Production and consumption trends in broiler meat in Italy
(source - UNA)

Consumption

After a weak start at the beginning of 2010, demand for broiler meat appears to be picking up despite increased competition from other kinds of meat (mainly pork and beef), which suffered a sharper downturn in 2009 due to the world financial crisis.

The broiler industry does not expect significant consumption changes in MY 2010 and expects per-capita consumption to remain stable at approximately 11.5kg. The industry estimates broiler meat consumption by type of cut as follows: 64 per cent legs and legs and breasts, 21 per cent processed products (stuffed chicken, sausages, and hot dogs) and 15 per cent whole birds.

Trade

Italy is more-or-less self-sufficient in broiler meat trade, and the small amount of trade is largely intra-EU trade.

Sources estimate MY 2010 trade figures not to be significantly different from 2009.

Policy

The EU began blocking imports of US poultry meat in 1997 because of the use by American processors of what the EU deemed unacceptable levels of chlorine as an antimicrobial wash. Before 1997, US exports of broiler and turkey meat to the 15 countries that then constituted the EU were reported to total nearly 32,000 tons, valued at $44.4 million (€32.9 million).

Now that the EU consists of 27 countries, estimates value the lost US market between $200 and $300 million (€148 to €222 million) a year. In May 2007, a poultry meat tariff rate quota rate of 16,665 MT was made available to the United States to try and compensate for lost markets as a result of the EU enlargement.

Turkey Meat

Italy is the third largest turkey meat producer in the EU behind Germany and France. Although EU-27 turkey meat production has trended downward for the past several years, Italy's production has remained essentially stable despite a slight decrease in 2009. The short- term forecast expects near zero growth in 2010.

Although overall poultry meat consumption increased by 2.1 per cent in 2009, turkey meat consumption has been almost flat, a trend that is expected to continue in 2010. About 79 per cent of turkey meat is sold as 'selected pieces', i.e. legs, breasts, etc., 19 per cent as processed products (such as stuffed or roasted turkey, sausages, wurstel etc), and two per cent as whole birds.

Italian Poultry Association (UNA)

Unione Nazionale dell'Avicoltura is the Italian poultry and egg producers association. They represent breeding farms; hatcheries; poultry and layer farms; slaughterhouses, cutting and processing houses; packaging and eggs product processing.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.


August 2010