North­ern Views

A pos­i­tive out­look for 2016

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

First some good news: since mid-jan­uary, no new cases of highly path­o­genic avian in­fluenza have been re­ported in France. The south­west re­gion of this gourmet coun­try was hit hard last De­cem­ber. The H7N8 virus struck right in the mid­dle of this area, where 70 per­cent of the foie gras pro­duc­tion is lo­cated. The virus spread rapidly, and 69 duck and geese farms be­came in­fected.

The French gov­ern­ment took strin­gent mea­sures to curb the spread of the virus. As from Jan­uary 18, pro­duc­ers in the south­west were for­bid­den to place new, day-old duck­lings or goose chicks on their farms. This mea­sure was ex­tended

to chicks up to 4 weeks old as from Fe­bru­ary 8. From 1 April, no one in that re­gion is al­lowed to place any new wa­ter­fowls on their farms.

This com­pul­sory va­cancy pe­riod must guar­an­tee that the Ai-virus will be def­i­nitely erad­i­cated. The mea­sures will re­main in force un­til mid2016, which gives the fatty liver-pro­duc­ers enough time to re­store pro­duc­tion be­fore the fes­tive sea­son. Hur­ray - I guess, as I’ve never ever con­sumed foie gras in my life. Per­haps I miss out on some won­der­ful del­i­cacy, but I never felt like I was miss­ing some­thing…

But that aside. Way more im­por­tant is Rabobank’s out­look on the EU poul­try meat mar­ket for this new year, which has al­ready en­tered Fe­bru­ary. Ac­cord­ing to the bank’s vi­sion­ar­ies, the Euro­pean mar­ket for poul­try meat is in bal­ance, and in a pos­i­tive mood. Thanks to a fall­ing pro­duc­tion in The Nether­lands (mi­nus 10 per­cent in Q4-2015, com­pared to Q42014) and Ger­many (mi­nus 5 per­cent). The rea­son for this de­cline is the trend to lower ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion in these mar­kets. This due to the emer­gence of var­i­ous poul­try meat con­cepts, aimed to in­crease an­i­mal wel­fare and to please con­sumers. All those new, slower grow­ing wel­fare chick­ens get more liv­ing space, so less kg’s are pro­duced per square me­ter.

And of course, all poul­try pro­duc­ers in the 27 coun­tries of our won­der­fully united Euro­pean Union fol­low the good ex­am­ple of Hans and Heinz, the most re­spectable boys in class…? Alas.

The de­cline in pro­duc­tion is di­rectly com­pen­sated by an in­crease in pro­duc­tion in Poland (+ 6 per­cent), Hun­gary (+ 5 per­cent) and Spain (+ 5 per­cent). Where, as you might guess, the liv­ing con­di­tions for broil­ers are not quite te same as in ‘civilised’ North­west­ern Europe. So we keep less broil­ers, but in bet­ter cir­cum­stances, while they keep more chicks un­der worse con­di­tions. As the il­lus­tri­ous Dutch soccer icon Jo­han Crui­jff would say in his un­ri­valled logic: ‘Elk vo­ordeel heb z’n nadeel’, or ‘ev­ery ad­van­tage has its dis­ad­van­tage’.

Well, any­way, Rabobank con­sid­ers the prospects for the Euro­pean poul­try meat in­dus­try mod­er­ately pos­i­tive – pro­vided we bal­ance the sup­ply growth in East­ern Europe with the de­mand. De­mand for poul­try meat is def­i­nitely on the rise, but as pork prices are cur­rently very low, that might gen­er­ate some com­pe­ti­tion. Feed prices are sta­ble at a com­fort­ably low level. So all in all, prospects are not too bad. But the grow­ing pro­duc­tion is chal­leng­ing.¡

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.