The Covid-19 crisis had shown once again how the EU’s strictly controlled imports regime protects EU producers at times of market crisis. However, this results in over-production and increased export of “poultry parts” to Africa.
An analysis by the Brussels-based organisation EPA Monitoring said this protection of EU producers shifted the burden of a market crisis to third-country suppliers.
“As recent import trends highlight the EU has in place a poultry meat trade regime which effectively protects EU domestic poultry producers from the worst effects of market crisis situations by maintaining the policy space to effectively restrict import volumes in line with market conditions.
“However, it should be noted, this highly protective EU trade regime by sustaining EU production growth also fuels EU exports of poultry parts. This includes phenomenal growth in EU poultry meat exports to markets in Africa, which could more naturally be served by domestic or fellow African poultry producers.
“Markets such as the DRC, Angola, Zambia can all be seen as natural destinations for South African exporters, but with this situation being made more difficult by EU export growth to these markets.
“EU export volumes to the DRC in 2021 are set to be more than double the level in 2017, while EU exports to Angola by 2020 where already double what they were in 2017. EU exports to Zambia meanwhile were almost 4 times larger in 2020 compared to 2017. This EU export growth occurred despite Covid-19 related trade disruptions,” the analysis noted.