February 4, 2020
New avian flu outbreak in China seen to boost Brazilian poultry sector
The new bird flu outbreak comes after the novel coronavirus epidemic that led to a lockdown in Hubei province near the disease's epicentre, where millions of chickens reportedly face the prospect of starvation.
Meanwhile, Chinese meat suppliers are still grappling with the disastrous effects of African swine fever (ASF), which has greatlydecimated the country's pig population.
"ASF, coronavirus and bird flu influence consumer habits and may drive Chinese demand for Brazilian meat," Francisco Turra, president of Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), told Reuters.
He said Brazil should benefit from the Chinese's concerns over food securitysince the South American country is a safe source of meat, with no case of bird flu or African swine fever recorded so far.
Last year China's imports of Brazilian chicken rose 34%, while its imports of Brazilian pork jumped 61%, Reuters reported, citing ABPA figures.
Reuters cited a Bloomberg report stating that Hubei's poultry association feared the lockdown of the province threatened more than 300 million chickens due to an imminent feedshortage.
The threat comes as China has been trying to increase local poultry output to substitute for pork, whose production has suffered due to ASF.