The Washington, DC-based National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF) and USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) has applauded the announcement that China will lift its prohibition on imports of US poultry products. The ban was enacted in 2015 after the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the United States. While the US has been free of HPAI since 2017, China had yet to remove the block on imports.
The decision from Beijing was made as the world’s two largest economies are reportedly about to finalize a limited trade deal, and at a time when consumer prices for meat in China have risen appreciably due to a shortage of pork. Before the ban, the PRC’s tariff on US poultry imports was about 25% and the value of imports was more than $500 million per annum.
“Lifting the ban has been a top priority of the US poultry industry for the past four years,” said the three American trade associations in a joint statement. “We thank President Trump, Agriculture Secretary Perdue, US Trade Representative Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, congressional leaders and their staffs – all of whom have worked tirelessly to reach an agreement with China and ensure the poultry industry has access to this market.
“America’s poultry producers are committed to raising high-quality, nutritious products, and we are extremely pleased that we will once again have the opportunity to share these products with Chinese consumers. We look forward to resuming a trade partnership with China in the coming weeks.”
This action represents a significant opportunity for US chicken and turkey producers. At its peak the annual value of poultry exports from the United States to China was $71 million for turkey and $722 million for chicken, much of which was shipped frozen. Renewed access to the Chinese market could result in $1 billion annually for chicken paws alone and, due to China’s meat protein deficit as a result of African Swine Fever that has killed millions of pigs in the pork-loving country over the past year, it is estimated that there could be as much as another $1 billion of potential exports of other chicken products, including leg and breast meat. Turkey exports could generate another $100 million in sales and poultry breeding stock at least $60 million more.
Stock prices for major US poultry producers including Tyson Foods and Sanderson Farms rose after the announcement of China’s decision to remove the ban on US poultry imports.
“After being shut out of the market for years, US poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products,” said United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.