China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced that live poultry can now be imported from the United States, effective February 17.
The country in November 2019 announced that it had lifted its ban on poultry products from the United States, which had been in place since 2015 because of concerns over the possible spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Less than two weeks after the ban was lifted, China gave approval to 172 broiler, turkey and duck plants that could export products to China. That list of approved establishments has since grown.
However, when the ban was lifted, live birds from the United States had not yet been approved to be shipped to China.
According to a Reuters report, the new announcement would allow breeding stock from the United States to be shipped to China, which would benefit U.S. breeding stock companies such as Aviagen and Cobb-Vantress. However, the impact of China’s new announcement may be limited, because Chinese poultry companies have relied on breeding stock from other countries, such as New Zealand.
Additionally, two of China’s Top Poultry Companies, Shandong Yisheng Livestock and Poultry Breeding Co., and Fujian Sunner Development, have begun their own breeding programs.
Aviagen recently opened its newest and largest parent stock hatchery in Quitman, Georgia. Company officials said one of the reasons the company decided to build in Quitman, in southern Georgia, was because its proximity to two international airports – in Atlanta, Georgia, and Miami, Florida – would help it better serve international markets.
According to a statement issued jointly by the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, at its peak, the annual value of poultry exports from the U.S. to China was $71 million for turkey and $722 million.
China’s five largest poultry producers, according to the Poultry International Top Companies rankings, are New Hope Liuhe, Wen’s Food Group, Doyoo Group, Fujian Sunner Development, and DaChan Food Ltd.