The agro-industrial firm MHP had all poultry production facilitates operating to full capacity last year as burgeoning white meat demand in Africa and the Middle East was a catalyst for booming sales growth.
Year-on-year export sales increased by a remarkable 47%, according to MHP’s pre-close trading update covering the 12 months up to December 2016.
The business admitted it faces “challenges” in the market after the EU imposed a trade ban on Ukraine, following outbreaks of avian influenza (AI) in the country. While the business is faced with a blanket ban over trade with the EU, MHP said in December that the trade ban will have no “material impact on 2016 figures”. This comes despite the EU accounting for a fifth of its poultry export market.
The bullish attitude comes partly to a strategy of “diversification and geographic expansion” which has helped the strong rise in sales. In the last 12 months, export volume came to 193,680 tonnes (t) compared to the 132,080t in the year before.
Exports to the Middle East increased by 67% and increased four-fold to Africa. Both regions are ones MHP said it sees its “potential for future growth”.
The average price for chicken, worked out by averaging domestic and export prices, increased by 11% year-on-year. MHP said the increase in the average price has been driven by a bigger share of export sales and increased prices in its domestic market, Ukraine.
The business has also opened a sales office in the United Arab Emirates – a key market for poultry – and entered into a joint venture in the Netherlands in the last 12 months.
Financial results for the 12 months up to December 2016, will be published on 15 March 2017.