European Union

The European Union is the world’s most affluent trading bloc, made up of 25 countries and a total population of 455 million.There is a growing beef deficit in the EU, estimated at 400-450,000 tons

There will be continued expansion of the EU along with growing markets in Eastern Europe, such as Romania and Bulgaria.

The continued expansion of the EU has resulted in the US industry losing access to markets such as Poland, as new member states are forced to comply with restrictive EU food policies. However consumption continues to increase following EU beef crises.

Brazil is the emerging leader in broiler meat exports, surpassing the United States in 2005 forecasts. US products are not exported to the EU due to regulatory constraints catergorized under health and sanitary considerations.

EU broiler meat imports in 2005 are forecast to drop about 10 per cent from 2003 and 2004 to 300,000 tons. Brazil has adapted to the European Union’s new tariff classification on processed broilers in brine and is competing in the cooked product sector against Thai product.

Consumption is expected to grow marginally in 2005 as consumers substitute poultry for beef due to higher beef prices.

U.S. broiler meat export-volume in January-August 2004 was up 31 percent to Middle Eastern countries, down 8 percent in Caribbean countries, down 83 percent to China, down 50 percent to Hong Kong and down 58 percent to Korea.

U.S. broiler production in 2004 expanded at a moderate rate despite weakening prices for individual cuts of meat. In 2005, production is forecast at 16 million tons, a 3-percent increase from the previous year.

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