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Virginia Govenor Happy to Send Chicken to China

22 July 2014

US & CHINA - Poultry producers in Virginia are once again anticipating robust returns after product shipments to China resumed on Thursday (17 July) after a seven-year hiatus.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was at the Purdue Foods Inc's cold-storage export facility on Thursday in Norfolk, to oversee the poultry products that were being loaded and shipped to China.

It is the first shipment of poultry products leaving the facility after the ban on poultry products from Virginia was lifted by China in May. The ban was imposed by China in 2007 following low pathogenic avian influenza that was reported in a Virginia farm.

"I am thrilled to see poultry products being exported from Virginia to China for the first time since 2007. Getting the long standing ban revoked has been a top priority for my administration. I wanted to be in Norfolk to witness firsthand the vessel being loaded," Governor Governor McAuliffe said.

"The resumption of business means more trade and revenue generation opportunities for Virginia's poultry industry and many related businesses that work to move products from family farms into the global marketplace." The shipment will arrive in Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province on Aug 3.

China is now one of the top foreign markets for US poultry products and bought more than $416 million last year. Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina are leading suppliers, according to a statement from Governor McAuliffe's office.

"Today's shipment marks a great day for Virginia's poultry industry and Virginia's growing relationship with China, our largest export customer of agricultural and forestry products," said Todd Haymore, Virginia's secretary of agriculture and forestry.

He estimated at least $20 million in poultry exports to China during the first full year the market is open, but said Virginia hopes to exceed that amount. He believes Virginia has the infrastructure and determination to achieve the goal.

Virginia exported a total of $186 million worth of poultry in 2013, with China being absent. The poultry industry is the largest individual sector of Virginia's agriculture industry and depends on access to foreign markets for more growth.

It is unknown whether the poultry products from Virginia will be subject to the new anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on US white-feathered broiler products announced by China's Ministry of Commerce on 8 July. An e-mail to Governor McAuliffe's office on Thursday received no reply.

In a statement, China's Commerce Ministry said during a reinvestigation of US white-feathered broiler products it found evidence of dumping and subsidization. These actions have caused considerable harm to the local industry, the ministry said. It said it would impose duties ranging from 46.6 to 73.8 per cent, and from 4 to 4.2 per cent, starting 9 July.

The decision follows a probe launched last December in response to a World Trade Organization report that claimed China had violated certain rules on the issue.

Governor McAuliffe has been touting the achievement of lifting the chicken ban since May. He is leading a trade mission to China in October. "We hope to be signing some deals. Our economic development office has been working hard," Governor McAuliffe told China Daily in an interview early last month.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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