Obviously due to bird flu, China was net poultry importer during the first six months of 2006 coming from a net poultry exporter at the same period in 2005.
Main reason for this development in Chinese poultry industry was the outbreaks of avian influenza according to the European Market Survey, dated 11th August 2006.
Over the first half of 2006, exports of Chinese fresh and frozen poultry meat fell 11%, compared with the same period in 2005. Hong Kong remained the dominant market for Chinese fresh and frozen poultry exports, accounting for 86% of the total shipments. Over the same period, China actually lost some of its smaller markets.
In contrast, Chinese processed poultry exports increased by 23%, to 115,400 tonnes, between January and June compared with the same period in 2005. Shipments to Japan accounted for 87% of total value-added poultry shipments.
In the first half of the year, imports of fresh and frozen poultry meat into China jumped 79% compared with 2005, to 285,250 tonnes. Despite the avian influenza outbreaks, China is forecasted to increase its overall exports of processed chilled and frozen poultry by 30% in 2006, largely due to growing demand from Hong Kong and Japan.
The outbreaks in 2005, which were largely confined to small or backyard farms, led to the culling of almost 23 million birds. Since then, the pattern of production has been changing through concentrating on the development of larger commercial farms with integrated processing units. In the year to date, 14 outbreaks of avian influenza have been reported in eight provinces in both wild birds and poultry flocks.
Source: MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia)