Imports into EU treble Imports of poultrymeat into the European Union have more than trebled in the past six years, while the industry's exports in the same period have almost halved. The main reason for the loss of market is the uncompetitiveness of the European industry in the face of increasing low-priced Thai and Brazilian exports. Brussels' senior poultry market sector expert Dr Helmut Klemm told a London conference the EU's share of world poultrymeat exports had fallen to only 15% in 2001 compared with 22% in 1996, while at the same time imports had risen to 11% against only 5% in 1996. From 1996 to 2001 the EU's imports of poultrymeat climbed from 215,000t to 727,000t, the bulk of the increase from Brazil and Thailand. Imports from Brazil have increased nearly 10 times from 38,000 tonnes in 1996 to 343,000 tonnes in 2001 with similar increases from Thailand ­ from 19,000 to 194,000 tonnes. The continental BSE scare last year had given EU poultrymeat consumption a considerable boost but, even with the passing of fears, consumption is still expected to continue to increase. The low production cost of major exporters to the EU would ensure they would gain much of this increased market. Costs in the most efficient EU producing countries are twice those of Brazil. {{MEAT }}