The International Poultry Forum China 2014 will happen in Beijing, China, September 20-21. The event will be attended by large poultry producers and poultry processors, as well as people from the allied poultry industries of China. Strategies to tackle the opportunities and challenges in the Chinese poultry industry will be discussed. An event that definitely no one should miss, particularly those interested in global agricultural trade.

But before I continue, I'll go back one step. A few days ago, the U.S. held a summit with 42 African heads of state in which it was announced, among other things, investments for US$33 billion. But analysts wonder — why Africa and not Latin America? It was said that this was an effort to neutralize China's growing dominance in that continent.

China's interest in Latin American markets growing

Trade between the U.S. and Latin America, according to analyst Andrés Oppenheimer, has fallen from "Fifty-three percent of the Latin American world trade in 2000 to 35 percent in 2013," while China has increased from 1.9 percent to 12 percent in the same period. If this trend continues, trade with both countries in 2025 will be equal.

The truth is that, lately, the U.S. has not paid much attention to the Latin American nations, whereas China is silently getting in more and more. Poultry is one of the areas of interest. Argentina and Brazil already have been doing business with China, with grains and oilseeds that complement its production and needs, and China is also a determining factor in the world price.

During the International Poultry Forum China, the Chinese poultry producers want to see what is going on with poultry production in Latin America, and they are particularly interested in the largest markets: Brazil and Mexico. They want to know what we do, how we produce chicken and eggs, what challenges and opportunities exist. But, will there be Chinese-Latin American alliances or imports in the future? I do not know, but the truth is that the U.S. is withdrawing from Latin America (Tyson, for example) and focusing on China. But … the Asian tiger stalks. Mexico is perhaps the only exception with the U.S., for obvious reasons: A shared border.

Benjamín Ruiz can be reached at bruiz@wattnet.net