International Egg and Poultry Review

by 5m Editor
4 November 2003, at 12:00am

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at developments in Mexico and the EU.

International Egg and Poultry Review - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at developments in Mexico and the EU.


The Government of Mexico began sampling, testing and holding 2 percent of all meat and poultry shipments on a random basis on November 1, 2003, until test results are known. Samples will be tested for a variety of residues including heavy metals and antibiotics.

The office of the Director General of Agricultural Health Inspection at the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) has suspended the test and hold provisions of NOM 030 in the event of a positive test for heavy metals.

Depending on the inspection point, the Agricultural Health Inspection Office (OISA) will retain the samples at the border points of entry into Mexico. Depending on the commercial movement at each point of entry, the quantity of shipments will be applied on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis. SAGARPA officials have indicated that they are going to strive to conduct the tests and release the shipments as fast as possible, possibly within three days. However, shipments in the past that were detained under the test and hold procedures applied to heavy metals have been typically held for 5-10 days.

Mexico is forecast to increase broiler imports approximately five percent to 295,000 metric tons in 2004 from 2003’s projected imports of 280,000 tons. In 2002 the United States (U.S.) had 98% of total Mexican broiler imports. Using this market share for 2004, U.S. broiler producers might expect to export to Mexico 289,000 metric tons and have 5,780 metric tons retained and tested in 2004. Mexico is fore cast to increase turkey imports from all countries five percent in 2004 to 163,000 metric tons from 2003’s projected 155,000 metric tons. Approximately 3,260 tons could be retained for testing in 2004.

European Union

A combination of factors have caused egg prices in the European Union (EU) to climb to exceptionally high levels and in some cases, still climbing. Egg prices are expected to remain high at least until Christmas, 2003 if not until Easter, 2004.

Some of the factors that caused egg prices to climb this year include:

  • the Avian Influenza outbreak this spring caused many laying hen facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to be depopulated;

  • increased mortality and reduced laying productivity in some regions due to the hot summer;

  • increased minimum space requirements from 450 square centimeters to 550 square centimeters resulting in 20% fewer birds in the same space;

  • and a ban in Germany that started in January, 2003 on the construction of new cages.

The tighter supplies have resulted in higher prices and a significant increase in chicken egg imports from the United States (US) into EU countries such as Germany. In the first seven months of 2003 Germany imported 14.2 million in-shell eggs and 484,940 hatching eggs from the U.S. versus 306,000 and 55,800 for the same period in 2002. In order to avoid the high EU import duties on the in-shell eggs, the eggs are processed into items such as liquid or dried eggs, egg yolks and egg whites and exported within a six month period.

Europe, meanwhile, continues experience various disease threats. Newcastle disease was detected in Sweden on October 23, 2003 in a hobby flock. Turkey farmers, meanwhile, are getting worried about Black head disease, a deadly liver disease that can kill a turkey in a week. The disease has already hit farmers in Germany, France and Holland. Turkeys affected now could affect the availability of product in Europe for the Christmas holidays. Emtryl, a drug that protected turkeys from the disease, was banned in May, 2003 due to a potential cancer link in humans.

To view the full report, including tables please click here (PDF Format)

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 4th November 2003.

5m Editor