Poland's poultry sector may lose EUR 330 mln this year

The coronavirus is butchering Poland's poultry sector which may potentially suffer a PLN 1.5-billion (EUR 330-million) loss in 2020 due to the pandemic-induced export slump.

According to estimates by the National Chamber of Poultry and Feed Producers, Poland’s entire poultry sector may be up for a PLN 1.5-bn (EUR 330-mln) loss due to the economic consequences of the pandemic.

During the first seven months of the year, poultry companies lost PLN 675 mln (EUR 150.6 mln) due to an export slump. The chamber's analysts contribute the downturn to much smaller export orders from the hotel and restaurant sector.

According to the chamber's data, poultry exports fell by 3.7 percent from January to July, but in terms of value, the loss was over 10 percent. Poultry firms earned almost EUR 151 million less than a year ago. This gap is a result of lower sales and a drastic reduction in sales margins, Katarzyna Gawrońska, director of the National Chamber of Poultry and Feed Producers, explained.

In her opinion, Polish poultry farming has a very limited ability to adapt to changing conditions, e.g. to limit production in a situation of shrinking demand. "Losses in exports show the currently dominant strategy in the Polish poultry sector. This consists of maintaining high production, which means that the only possibility of selling is the lowering of prices. We are afraid that this approach will only work for a short time. In the long run, the effects of such a procedure may be deplorable," commented Gawrońska.

According to the chamber, during the first seven months of the year, Poland exported poultry meat worth EUR 1.34 bn. A year earlier it was EUR 1.49 mln.