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MHP taps into growing Middle East, EU poultry imports

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MHP unveiled an acceleration in its chicken meat exports, as the Ukraine-based group taps into growing demand for broiler meat supplies, including in the key European Union market.

The agribusiness giant, which will also harvest more than 350,000 hectares of crops this year, unveiled an 11% rise to 166,300 tonnes in poultry meat sales in the July-to-September period.

The increase was led by a 70% surge, to 58,625 tonnes, in volumes exported.

"Exports remained the main driver in poultry sales growth," the Kiev-based company said, reporting volumes for the first nine months of 2016 up 44% at 145,210 tonnes.

'New business opportunities'

"MHP continues to follow a strategy of diversification and geography expansion," said the group, adding that it was "exploring new business opportunities" in key markets, in an effort to boost sales.

These markets include the Middle East, to where MHP sales soared by 47% in the January-to-September period.

Saudi Arabia is, after Japan, the world's second-ranked importing country, with Iraq and the United Arab Emirates among big buyers too.

EU imports

However, MHP also highlighted the European Union market, to where its exports rose 35% in the first nine months of 2016.

The EU, while producing a little more broiler meat than it consumes, remains a large importer, thanks to it large processing, and exporting, industry.

Ukraine has become the third-ranked origin of poultry exports to the EU, with volumes reaching 20,000 tonnes in the first six months of 2016, a rise of 15% year on year.

Share reaction

MHP also unveiled a 21% ruse to 10,800 tonnes in sales of sausages and cooked meats in the latest quarter, and increasing sales of vegetable oils, boosted by last year's launch of a soybean crushing plant.

And it said that its autumn harvesting campaign, of corn, soybean and sunflower crops, was "on track", showing yields which were stronger year on year.

Sowings of winter crops, for harvest in 2017, was "on track and almost complete".

MHP depositary receipts, a proxy for shares, stood up 2.4% at $9.52 in morning deals in London.

By Mike Verdin

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