INDIA - India's poultry farmers, who remain concerned about the possibility of the government allowing duty-free imports of chicken legs from the US, are looking at increasing exports of processed chicken.
A drop in feed prices has made Indian chicken competitive in the international market, which has prompted the farmers to explore the opportunity. To begin with, the sector is planning to beef up its presence in the Middle East, which mostly imports processed chicken from Thailand, Viet Nam and Brazil, reports The Economic Times.
The poultry sector is anxiously watching whether the chicken leg import issue will come up during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to the US, where talks are likely to focus on strengthening bilateral trade ties between two nations.
The external affairs ministry had proposed to allow duty-free imports of American chicken leg in return for US access to Indian basmati rice and fruits.
Local poultry farmers say such a step would lead to dumping of an item that Americans usually discard. Americans prefer chicken breast meat, which is sold at a premium, and chicken legs are sold at throwaway prices, say Indian farmers.
"We had requested the agriculture ministry not to allow duty-free import of chicken legs from the US. The minister had assured us that he would look into it," said Amit Saraogi, chairman, Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturer's Association (India).
"But in the meantime, we are trying to increase exports of processed chicken to the Middle East so as to take advantage of the falling input cost prices and also to create a market for our chicken in the world market."ThePoultrySite News Desk