August 28, 2003

 

 

EU Thai Chicken Imports Seen Up As Heat Wave Triggers Shortage

 

Thailand's chicken exports to markets in the European Union are expected to increase sharply this year due to a shortage of chicken meat triggered by a heat wave in the region, the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association said Thursday.

   

Heat and drought in Europe has hurt chicken production, pushing up prices by 15%-35%, the association said in a statement.

   

Around one million chickens on farms in northwest France have already died from the heat wave, while the unfavorable weather has slowed the growth rate of chickens in the U.K. and Spain, and may lead to lower egg output, the statement said, citing reports from these countries' poultry industry associations.

   

As a result, markets in Europe are now facing a shortage of chicken, the statement said.

   

"Given that the E.U. is Thailand's biggest chicken export market, (the effect from the heat wave) is likely to help increase opportunities for Thai chicken exports to the E.U.," the statement said.

   

Exports of Thai chicken to the E.U. continue to hover at a high price level of around $2,000 a metric ton, the statement said.

   

Thai chicken exports to the E.U. were valued around $1,700-$1,800/ton earlier in the year, the association said.

   

The association expects Thai chicken exports to the E.U. to pick up this year to 220,000 tons, from 128,097 tons last year, following the E.U.'s agreement in July to relax strict sanitary checks on Thai chicken.

   

Thailand's chicken exports in 2003 will likely reach 500,000 tons valued at 52 billion baht ($1=THB41.305), the association said.