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Poultry & Eggs

General Market Situation 2010

The poultry sector continued to face considerable challenges during 2010. Chief among these were the continued increase in cereal, and ultimately feed, costs and significant pressure from imports. In the current economic climate consumers regard poultry as a value-for-money food and this has been reflected in a small increase in consumption.

Output in Ireland

In 2010 the output value of the poultry sector was €121.1m up 1% on 2009.



Notwithstanding the significant increase in cereal prices, producer and wholesale prices in the sector remained steady throughout 2010. Poultry is normally reared under contract to processors, for a pre-agreed price, and therefore poultry producers are not subject to the same price fluctuations as other farmers.


Slaughtering of poultry amounted to 82.1 million birds during 2010 – an increase of 9.6% on 2009 levels.
The value of Irish poultrymeat exports in 2010 increased by over 9% and reached some €200 million. Competitive pressures in processed product contributed to a decline in both volume and value in the UK which remains our largest single market. This was offset by growth in export value to both the EU and international markets, the latter albeit from a very small base.

Outlook 2011

Irish production is forecast to remain stable during 2011 in common with the EU as a whole. However, the impact of cereal price increases may have a detrimental impact on output as the year progresses. Egg production is expected to increase slightly during 2011 with balanced demand helping keep prices stable. New EU proposals providing for the conversion of production systems to ‘enriched cages’ come into operation from 1 January 2012. These proposals, which are being made on animal welfare grounds, have been in train for a number of years. To this end the Department has introduced the Poultry Welfare Scheme in order to facilitate compliance with the new requirements.