EU’s Loss is Somebody Else’s Gain

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated a 105,000-ton fall in the amount of chicken meat exported from the European Union this year because of bird flu.

It represents an 8.9 per cent decline in volumes, the biggest fall in 16 years.

Importers such as South Africa and the Philippines have already placed restrictions on EU meat following outbreaks of bird flu across the union. France, which has the largest poultry flock in the EU, was hit hard by the disease.

So far, EU prices have shown little reaction since the first discovery of the H5N8 strain in Hungary in October 2016.

The countries expected to win the export lottery are Brazil and Thailand as both remain free from the disease.

Thailand increased its total exports by 6 percent in 2016 and the reopening of raw meat exports to South Korea and Singapore could provide additional growth. The Thai government has estimated a 4 percent rise in poultry exports.

Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan have put restrictions on imports of US poultry meat, providing further opportunity for Thai exports.

USDA believes Brazilian exports could grow by 10 percent this year mostly because of the negative impact created by bird flu in several countries.

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