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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Economy and prospects of the egg, poultry and rabbit meat sectors in France and European Union

INRA Prod. Anim., 16(5), 349-356.


Itavi, Service Economie, 4 rue de la Bienfaisance, 75008 Paris


For the last five years, French poultry production has been recording a pause in its growth and suffers from a crisis of both domestic and export markets. Even if France remains the main European poultry producer (24% in 2002), its part among EU production and trade is decreasing.

European production suffers from a structural lack of competitiveness compared to third countries (the gap between the EU’s and Brazil’s cost of production is estimated at about 45% for a chicken kg carcass). This, added to the decrease of support for export (WTO agreements of Marrakech), has led to a decline in the EU markets share in world trade, which remain in strong growth. European production is also in competition with Brazilian or Thai imported poultry meats.

French and European poultry consumption is increasing more slowly than world consumption. This weak development is accompanied by market diversification moving towards more convenient products and qualitative differentiation. But, the French market is the only one to present an important qualitative diversification of products in volume. For the future, an important stake for the European poultry industry will be to keep its place in the intra EU market. The consumers’ expectations tend to favour local production on the fresh products market. On the convenient elaborated products market, competition with third countries could become stronger.

French and European egg production have been increasing slightly over the last ten years, marked by a strong development of egg products and a diversification of the breeding systems. The implementation of the European welfare Directive combined to the EU market’s opening expected at the end of the new WTO’s negotiations has threatened European production competitiveness.

At last, the rabbit sector is suffering from the decline of traditional production and since 1997, from sanitary problems affecting the organised production. The rabbit meat market is a very small one and has been decreasing for a long time. The market’s diversification of products could help to stop this decline.

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