US chicken imports stifled by China ban


China’s decision to not follow protocol and lift its HPAI ban on U.S. poultry imports is significantly hurting exports to the market.

Posted on Aug 11 ,00:15

US chicken imports stifled by China ban

Currently, 37 states are banned from exporting to China, and 444 of the 584 U.S. production and cold storage facilities approved for export to China are in those states.

If the General Customs Administration China (GACC) were to follow the regionalization protocol that was part of the Phase One Agreement between the two countries, many of the bans would be lifted. The agreement stipulates that restrictions are to be removed once every impacted HPAI premises within a state is 90 days post-virus elimination.

Over the past year, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has submitted closeout reports to GACC asking that restrictions be lifted on the 14 states that are currently eligible under the agreement. But GACC has provided only limited responses as to why it has not accepted these requests.

The 14 states are Oklahoma, Delaware, North Carolina, Maine, Kentucky, New Jersey, Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas, Idaho, Montana, Kansas, and New Hampshire.

APHIS also is sending closeout reports to GACC for Oregon, Alaska, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Utah, Florida, and Illinois.

USAPEEC is aware that USDA and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative continue to address the issue with GACC. Because of the larger tensions between the U.S. and China, however, a higher level of diplomatic engagement likely would be necessary to bring about any change in the situation.

Unfortunately, the resulting impact on U.S. poultry exports has been severe. The U.S. accounted for only 19 percent of the market share for broiler imports into China in the first half of 2023, amounting to 137 thousand tons, a decline of 30.1 percent year over year.

Meanwhile, U.S. turkey has been all but shut out of the market. Only 127 tons have been imported into China this year, a decline of 94 percent. The U.S. has just a 2 percent market share of imported turkey by China.

In June, Brazil was the top broiler exporter to China, followed by the U.S., Russia, Thailand, and Belarus.

Volume for the top five was 86.8 thousand tons, 23.4 thousand tons, 11.3 thousand tons, 9.5 thousand tons and 7.3 thousand tons, respectively. That amounted to 62.8 percent, 16.9 percent, 8.2 percent, 6.9 percent, and 5.3 percent of market share, respectively.

Import volume from the U.S. in June decreased by 24.3 percent year over year, and by 17.9 percent month over month. Import value from the U.S. decreased 28.5 percent year over year and 6.2 percent month over month.

Chicken paws accounted for 79.5 percent of total U.S. broiler export value to China, or $63.3 million. The average unit price of imported U.S. paws rebounded to $2.61 per pound in June. Chicken paws and chicken legs accounted for 47 percent and 46 percent of the total U.S. broiler import share in June, respectively.

For the first half of 2023, the top broiler exporters to China by volume were Brazil, the U.S., Russia, Thailand, and Belarus. Brazil’s share of the China market was 50.1 percent.

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