EU feedmakers fear bird flu loss but market intact

AMSTERDAM - European Union animal feed makers fear they would suffer huge losses if bird flu spread across the continent after infecting at least three southeast European countries, industry officials said on Tuesday.

Potential culling of millions of poultry to contain a possible outbreak would sharply cut demand for grains and soymeal, putting pressure on prices and leaving EU feed makers in the red, they say.

But grain traders argue it is premature to judge any economic impact as prompt government measures could quickly contain a potential bigger outbreak.

There are already signs of falling chicken meat consumption in countries like France, Italy and Hungary. Greece detected a bird with avian flu on Monday, while Turkey and Romania have been killing thousands of poultry to contain the disease.

Exports of grains from infected countries in eastern Europe appeared to be affected as well.

Source: Reuters

calendar icon 19 October 2005
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