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.
calendar icon 21 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Avian Influenza in Kuwait

Altogether a total of 17 outbreaks of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) were reported to the OIE, six on February 26, 2007 and 11 just recently on March 13, 2007. Based on the OIE report, about 3,238 backyard chickens, turkeys, geese, pigeons, falcons, guinea fowl, quails, and ducks have either died of HPAI or have been destroyed as part of Kuwait's control measures. About 4,233 birds were termed susceptible. Outbreak locations were Al Farwaniyah, Al Ahmadi, Al Jarah, Hawalli, Moubarak Al Kabeer, and Al Kuwayt governates, which happen to be five of the six governates in Kuwait. No human cases have been reported. The first case of HPAI was confirmed in 2005.

Kuwait has also implemented measures to control movement inside the country, vaccinate, disinfect infected premises, and zoning for the whole country. A three month ban has also been imposed on urban poultry slaughtering and sales of live poultry and live poultry imports, as well as conducting health inspections of all poultry shops, closure of the zoo, and the ban of poultry in cages at schools and kindegartens.

Kuwaiti broiler meat production is expected to remain at 35,000 MT, due to continued tepid demand stemming from AI. About 40-60% of production is sold live with the remainder as frozen or chilled whole birds, however demand for live chicken has declined, due to the convenience of the frozen/chilled products and health concerns, which could impact this trend. Local production does not compete with imported products as local frozen whole chicken commands a 50-60% higher retail price over frozen imported whole chicken, while local chilled whole chicken retails twice that of imported frozen whole chicken. Chicken meat consumption in 2007 is projected to be 105,000 MT of which 12,000 MT (11%) are parts. Imports are estimated to cover 70% of total consumption with the remaining covered by local production. Per capita chicken meat consumption is forecast to be 43 kg in 2007.

Poultry imports for both re-export and domestic consumption are expected to increase 50,000 MT to 145,000 MT in 2007. Brazil is the primary supplier of frozen chicken to Kuwait (80% market share), because it is viewed to be more closely compliant with Islamic Halal procedures, French market loss due to HPAI, public boycott of Danish products owed to a cartoon, and bans on product from China and Thailand due to on-going AI problems.

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