BOTH EXPORTS AND IMPORTS of poultrymeat to and from the EU have increased in the first half of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018.

New figures from the EU commission reveal exports totalled 948,384t in the year to June, 11% up when compared with the 853,541t in the first six months of 2018. It marks a longer-term trend, as exports were 774,346t in the same period in 2017 – 22.5% growth.

Imports from third countries came to 446,209t to June 13.7% up when compared with the first half in 2018.

In the first half, eight countries dominated exports: the Philippines, Ghana, Ukraine, South Africa, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Benin and Saudi Arabia.

Together these countries accounted for 57.9% of total EU exports.

South Africa recorded the largest increase: the 72,289t is more than double (+ 127%) the 31,854t that were exported to this country in the first half of 2018.

The increase is partly due to exports from Poland which recommenced after South Africa lifted an import ban related to Avian Influenza.

Imports to Europe from Brazil seem to be recovering after being severely curtailed last year in the midst of a tainted meat scandal. In 2017, Brazil accounted for 53% of imports in the first six months. Last year, that dropped to 34.6% last year, but was 38.8% in 2019 – up 27.7%.

Imports from Ukraine to the EU showed no sign of slowing, up nearly 10% to just over 98,000t in the first half, according to commission figures.