Reverse flow in poultry trade between Romania and Poland
After years in which the Romanian poultry market was flooded with imports from Poland, there is a reverse flow in trade between the two countries. Currently, Romania is exporting large volumes of poultry in the Polish market due to the impact of avian influenza on the sector. "Until last year, we have witnessed a strong competition in the domestic market from Polish poultry producers. However, starting this year we are exporting large volumes of poultry in Poland after the bird flu outbreaks and last year's poor management in poultry farming have taken their toll on the Polish poultry industry", says Mary Pana, president of the Romanian Association of Animal Breeders and Exporters (ACEBOP).
In 2020, the coronavirus crisis and disruptions in trade have forced Polish poultry producers to flood the markets with products sold below the price of production. As a result, many units have closed and the ones that are still producing are confronted with an ongoing bird flu outbreak.
The largest poultry producer in the EU is currently battling 262 outbreaks of bird flu, the highest number ever in the country. More than six million birds have been euthanized in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. In order to honor their orders from external clients, Polish producers are now forced to import chicken meat from other EU member states, such as Romania. "On one hand it is beneficial to our producers, considering the fact that Romania has a self-sufficiency rate in poultry of 116%. Due to the surplus existing in the domestic market we have seen high-valued parts such as chicken breast turned into sausages.
On the other hand, we should try to open third-markets and to obtain a better price for our poultry products instead to use Poland as a middle man in international trade", says Mary Pana. So far, Romania was not hit this year by the Avian Influenza wave that spread across Europe, the only cases reported being in wild birds on the Danube and at the Black Sea.