Although we began 2018 with hopes for the Latin American poultry industry, we obviously did not know what was going to happen. Here are five big events that impacted the Latin American poultry industry last year and perhaps also the course of history:

1.    The uncertainty of exports of poultry and grain products to Mexico due to the possible cancellation or modification of NAFTA raised the eyebrows of poultry and feed producers. It was renegotiated and Mexico continues importing supplies and is growing its appetite for them. However, it pushed towards diversification, and now Brazil occupies an important position in poultry product imports in Mexico.

2.    The truckers' strike in Brazil caused huge losses and reduced Brazilian chicken production, as well as its exports. The two big Brazilian companies, BRF and JBS, were involved in two scandals, which affected the image of the Brazilian poultry industry.

3.    The Latin American Poultry Summit has arisen and will be celebrated with the IPPE in Atlanta, with the support of the Latin American Poultry Association (ALA). It promises to be the reference event in the sector and a complement of the most important poultry trade show.

4.    In addition to Brazil, Chile and Argentina, other Latin American countries, such as Peru, Honduras and Ecuador, exported chicken, eggs and turkeys. Others, such as Colombia and Bolivia, aim to do so.

5.    In avian health, there were no big scares in Latin America. Perhaps little progress was made, but there were no setbacks. The few outbreaks of avian influenza in Mexico were rapidly controlled and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), but the virus persists in the country. In Colombia, they are moving forward with a Newcastle disease eradication plan, although it has not been fully achieved.

There was a lot of other news in 2018, which depending on the sector and country of Latin America may have had more or less impact on the poultry industry. But these are the ones that came out of my inkwell.

What do you think?