Mexican poultry imports reach new heights

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mexican poultry association president, Sergio Chavez, says approximately 4 mill. chickens in Mexico have been lost due to avian influenza in 2013 through the end of May.

The total economic impact of the H7N3 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in Mexico in 2012 was approximately $750 mill., said Chavez. The industry lost or euthanized approximately 24 mill. birds; most of these birds were table egg layers or replacement pullets.

The loss of over 800,000 broiler breeders, about 8% of the country's total broiler breeder flock, has resulted in a shortage of fertile hatching eggs and will result in a decline in chicken meat production. An increased number of broiler hatching eggs has been imported from the United States to replace some of the shortfall, but it hasn't been enough to prevent a shortage of chicken meat.

The amount of chicken meat that has been imported into Mexico has increased substantially as a result of the influenza outbreak.

Producer live chicken prices have increased from approximately $20 per kg early in 2012 to a peak of approximately $30 per kg in May of this year. In response to the high prices for chickens, on 15 May 2013, the Mexican government waived tariffs on up to 300,000 t of chicken imports from countries that don't have free trade agreements with Mexico. Processors in Argentina and Brazil have asked to be inspected and certified for export to Mexico. At this time, none of them have been certified.

In addition to depopulation, vaccination has been used as a means of controlling the influenza outbreak. Chavez reported that through May 2013, 440 mill. doses of the vaccine developed for this outbreak had been distributed. He said that the vaccine is primarily being used on table egg layers, pullets and broiler breeders.
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