China lifted its ban on the import of poultry from France that had been in place since 2015.
The ban was first implemented as a response to an outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), and the removal of the trade ban is effective immediately, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.
Federation des Industries Avicoles, the French poultry industry association, welcomed the news and wrote in an email sent to Reuters, “The Chinese market is a complementary market to the French and European market, since the Chinese consume different products, which we cannot value otherwise.”
Prior to the ban, France had not exported a lot of poultry meat to China, but it was a significant supplier of breeding stock.
However, France could see its poultry meat exports to China increase in volume from its prior levels, due to an increased demand for poultry meat as the pork industry grapples with outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF).
Although the ban on French poultry was implemented in 2015, the country had more substantial struggles with the avian influenza virus in 2016 and 2017. Between November 2016 and mid-March 2017, the country had 465 confirmed cases of HPAI. Depopulation and disinfection procedures were completed, and after a three-month absence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the European company, a low pathogenic form of the virus appeared in a French turkey breeder operation in October 2017. Other cases of low pathogenic avian influenza would appear in French turkey and duck flocks into 2018.
French poultry companies
The largest poultry company in Europe is LDC, which slaughters 458.8 broiler chickens annually, according to the Poultry International Top Poultry Companies survey. LDC is also involved in the production of turkeys, ducks, geese and table eggs.
Also ranking among Europe’s 25 largest poultry companies are Terrena, which slaughters 130 million broilers annually, and Gastronome, which slaughters 115 million broilers on an annual basis.