April 7, 2010


Ukraine's Avangard targets EU egg market


Avangard, Ukraine's largest egg producer, is aiming the European egg market as it unveiled plans to raise US$200 million through joining the growing number of Ukrainian agricultural groups with a listing in London.


The company highlighted the competitiveness of its supplies against those from EU rivals as it announced it would float in London this spring.


"Management believes that Avangard may benefit from lower production costs relative to EU producers," said the group, which is seeking trade accreditation from Brussels for some of its sites. "It is geographically well positioned to export into the EU."


The group said that funds raised from the flotation would go towards capital investment, including the completion of new two complexes with annual capacity of 840 million eggs each, and potentially a tripling in the capacity of its state-of-the-art Imperovo facility to 10 million eggs a day.


The plans by Avangard, whose export markets are currently concentrated in Asia and the Middle East, aim to get bigger in Europe.


Europeans are among the world's more enthusiastic egg eaters, consuming about 230 each per year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, compared with less than 100 in South East Asia.


However, it will be pitching against a huge European egg industry, which is second only to China's in scale, producing some 6.5 million tonnes a year, led by French and German producers.


EU egg producers have complained they are being rendered uncompetitive by higher animal welfare standards, and costs, than in many other countries, including Brazil and the US.

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