International Egg and Poultry Review: Mexico, the EU and Avian Influenza

US - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at Mexico and Avian Influenza and the European Union.
calendar icon 31 August 2005
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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 Mexico and Avian Influenza and the European Union.


Recently Mexico decided to allow imports of raw poultry from the following US states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas beginning October 4, 2005, according to sources from USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC.) In return, the US agreed to recognize several Mexican states as being free of exotic Newcastle disease, pending a visit from USDA officials in the next week. According to the agreement reached at a bilateral meeting in Mexico City held to discuss outstanding technical sanitary issues affecting poultry trade, both countries will meet again in mid-September to monitor progress of the agreements. Mexico is the fourth largest importer of US poultry and purchased US $93 million worth of chicken and related products before the ban.

On August 9, 2005 both Ciudad Reynosa and Veracruz were eligible to be border crossing points for frozen chicken leg quarters and bovine edible offal products. Ciudad Reynosa and Veracruz will be two of sixteen crossing points and will need to have all imports meet tariff rate quota (TRQ) specifications and be in accordance with the Secretariat of Economy. Reynosa has been closed since December 28, 2004 for allowing product to enter the country via amparos (court injunctions,) a weak loophole in Mexican law allowing any Mexican to avoid compliance with government rules and regulations, and for allowing importers to avoid quantitative safeguard limits applying to chicken leg quarters.


Chicken meat production estimates for 2005 have been slightly reduced, due to the discovery of Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza in early March in northern Mexico (La Laguna area in the states of Durango and Cahuilla,) and the unusual hot temperatures in May and June affecting bird growth rates. However 2005 production is expected to recover in the second half of the year. Projections for 2006 show an increase similar to the last 20 years, due to favorable demand, effective marketing campaigns, strong financial positions among processors, and continued quality improvements. Producers also appear to be benefitting from the trade protection offered by the 2003 safeguard agreement on chicken leg quarters.


Chicken continues to distance itself from beef and pork in price and consumption, maintaining its position as Mexico's most affordable meat protein. Domestic consumption estimates for 2005 have been lowered, due to reduced supplies and stronger prices. In spite of this, industry sources expect prices to moderate into the second half of the year and for consumption near the border to increase, due to more affordable prices. For May, prices of leg quarters in Mexico City were about $21 pesos/kg (US$1.89/kg) compared with an average of $11.50 pesos/kg (US$1.03/kg) at the border.

Projections for 2006 show an increase of nearly 5 percent in chicken meat consumption over 2005 as a result of population growth, the affordability of chicken in relation to other meats, increased consumer concerns regarding cholesterol and health issues, effective marketing, increased usage in processed food products, and improved product quality. Consumers continue to prefer dark meat to white meat and fresh whole chicken to parts, though interest in parts is slowly increasing mainly supermarkets servicing higher-income consumers.


The US should reach its' TRQ for 2005 (102,010 MT) with Mexico, despite only filling 85 percent of it in 2004. Imports of cuts, mainly chicken leg quarters and mechanically separated chicken meat in 2006 are projected to increase five percent over 2005 levels as a result of increased demand from processors. Interest is growing among importers to diversify their suppliers and quantities of frozen chicken meat with other countries, as well as for reduced tariffs and sanitary restrictions with the potential exporters (i.e. Chile) in the event the US has another supply disruption. According to the tariff phase-out plan, Mexico will have duty-free access and eliminate import licenses required for US leg quarters by January 1, 2008.
Sources: USDA FAS & Various News Wires

Avian Influenza and the European Union

The EU commission convened in Brussels for a meeting of EU veterinary experts from all Member States to discuss the avian influenza situation this past week. It was agreed that Member States step up surveillance, review its' contingency plans, introduce awareness programs, provide adequate protection to poultry workers, and to consider flight routes of migratory fowl and vaccinations for at risk areas. However, a generalized ban on keeping all poultry outdoors was not considered proportionate to the current risk of disease spreading. A meeting for early September was scheduled to coordinate more intensified surveillance for which funding is available.
Sources:Various News Wires

To view the full report, including tables please click here

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 30th August 2005

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