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International Egg and Poultry Review

by 5m Editor
25 June 2008, at 8:21am

US - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry. In this issue, HPAI in Hong Kong and US poultry exports to China and Hong Kong.

H5N1 Detected in Hong Kong’s Wet Markets

During a surveillance check on June 7, 2008, the Hong Kong Government confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus type H5N1 in 5 of 20 samples taken from a wet market. The confirmation led to the immediate culling of all 2,700 chickens in the market. Then on June 11, 2008 the Hong Kong Government tested 3 other wet markets and all 3 markets tested positive for HPAI H5N1. More than 4,200 chickens were culled in total. In response, the Hong Kong Government suspended all retail sales of live poultry and all imports of live chicken from China for 21 days with immediate effect. The remaining chickens in the wet markets were also immediately culled. No other cases have been reported in the wholesale market, the remaining 60 wet markets, or at the more than 50 local farms.

Since then the Hong Kong Government has stepped up its surveillance efforts at retail, wholesale, and farm levels. It also continues to trace the source of the outbreak and has identified 3 local farms and 6 mainland registered farms, which supply chickens to these markets. The outbreaks suggest Hong Kong either has an inadequate bio-security and vaccination program or there are continued problems with the smuggling of live chickens from unregistered farms in China. In light of the recent outbreaks, the Hong Kong Government is pushing for the implementation of a central slaughtering facility. It has already begun asking for proposals from the private sector to develop the Poultry Slaughtering and Processing Plant with the intention of having something operational by 2011.

Despite the fact that H5N1 was found for the first time in 5 years in commercial chickens and in various locations, Hong Kong consumers did not react strongly to the confirmation of H5N1 on June 7, 2008. In fact, retail sales of live chicken were not adversely affected during a typically peak season of chicken consumption during the recent outbreaks, which happened to fall on a Chinese festival.

Demand has increased for US poultry in Hong Kong though it is due mostly to another food safety concern. US poultry to Hong Kong reached $32 million in the first 4 months of 2008, growing 46% from 2007. According to USDA FAS, imports of poultry to Hong Kong from the world totaled $352 million in the first 4 months of 2008, of which the US maintained a 9% market share.

The last cases of HPAI H5N1 were detected in 5 wet markets and on 2 farms back in January 2003. Two other outbreaks occurred in May 2001 and February 2002. Altogether the 3 outbreaks resulted in the slaughter of more than 3 million chickens at a compensation cost of HK$200 million, which was paid to the local industry by the Hong Kong Government.

Source: USDA FAS/OIE/Promed/various news wires

US Poultry Exports to China and Hong Kong

Top US Broiler Meat Exports to China (MT)

Note: All data is January through December, except for data from 2008, which is from January through April. Paws = HS0207140045. Wings = HS0207140030. Leg Quarters = HS0207140010. Legs = HS0207140025.


Top US Turkey Meat Exports to China (MT)

Note: All data is January through December, except for data from 2008, which is from January through April. Wings = HS0207270030. Legs = HS0207270010. Leg Meat = HS0207270025. Offal = HS0207270050.


Top US Broiler Meat Exports to Hong Kong (MT)

Note: All data is January through December, except for data from 2008, which is from January through April. Paws = HS0207140045. Wings = HS0207140030. Leg Quarters = HS0207140010. Legs = HS0207140025.


Top US Turkey Meat Exports to Hong Kong (MT)

Note: All data is January through December, except for data from 2008, which is from January through April. Wings = HS0207270030. Legs = HS0207270010. Leg Meat = HS0207270025. Offal = HS0207270050.
Source: US Department of Commerce/USDA FAS

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

5m Editor