Ukrainian chicken threatens EU producers – trade group

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French poultry can’t compete with cheap imports from the Eastern European country, industry representatives claim 

France’s poultry farmers are suffering losses due to “unfair competition” with Ukrainian producers, chairman of the Association of Chicken Meat Suppliers Anvol, Jean-Michel Schaeffer, told Le Figaro on Wednesday.   

He complained that the influx of cheap Ukrainian poultry is hitting local producers, which is typically a family business in France and many other EU countries.   

Meanwhile, Ukrainian exporters belong to a different “category.” The profit from chicken sales goes not to the “Ukrainian people,” but to the country’s largest poultry manufacturer, MHP, Schaeffer emphasized, and urged the European Commission to protect domestic producers. 

“Before this unfortunate conflict [in Ukraine], we were importing about 10,000 tons of poultry per month, and now we are importing 20,000 or more tons per month. It’s really a shock,” he said.   

He said that the arrival of the giant Ukrainian supplier immediately destabilized the EU’s single market. Producers from the war-torn country are benefiting from low costs due to the absence of trade barriers and the lack of EU production standards in Ukraine.   

One kilogram of chicken meat from French producers costs about €4.80 (a bit over $5), while one kilogram of Ukrainian poultry costs €2.40, which represents “unfair competition,” according to Schaeffer.   

Farmers across the bloc are also suffering from the unprecedented surge in Ukrainian produce “be it the Germans, the Dutch, the Poles – everyone is in the same situation, when this flow of Ukrainian chickens destabilizes the entire market,” he said.   

Last year, the EU lifted tariffs and quotas for exports of Ukrainian agricultural products to help Kiev financially. However, EU nations have faced domestic protests as farmers have struggled to compete with cheaper imports.   

Poland was the first to ban imports of Ukrainian produce, followed by Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia.   

In May, the European Commission imposed “temporary preventive measures” on Ukrainian imports to ease the impact of plummeting prices in neighboring EU countries.  

The EU ban on Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seed to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria is set to end on September 15.

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