Ukrainian poultry producer MHP has reported an increase in poultry sales volume of 6 per cent during 2016 in its latest financial results, compared with the first nine months of 2015.
The company said the increase was driven by a massive increase in export volumes - chicken meat exports rose 70 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the same period last year. In the first nine months of 2016, the share of the company's total poultry sales going to exports was approximately 34 per cent.
MHP said it is continuing to pursue further expansion of exports, in the countries of the Middle East, the EU, Asia and Africa.
In the EU, the company has a joint venture in the Netherlands to run a processing plant, which is a key part of its plans for expansion. MHP said the plant has been gradually increasing its capacity and it is expected to reach full production capacity by the end of the year.
In a speech at the recent General Assembly of AVEC, the association representing the poultry meat industry in the EU, the organisation's president said that Ukraine can now produce poultry at a lower cost than key exporting countries Brazil and Argentina. President Paul Lopez added that for the European poultry industry, Ukraine "represents a clear threat at the gates of Europe".
The EU is a net poultry exporter in terms of quantity, but imports a lot of high-value poultry products from third countries - 25 per cent of the breast meat consumed in the EU is currently imported from third countries, according to AVEC.