How is US Bird Flu Outbreak Affecting Corn, Oilseed Futures?

US - Declines in US maize and soybean futures prices have been linked to the recent outbreak of bird flu in the US.
calendar icon 23 April 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

To date, 12 US states have detected a deadly strain of bird flu, or avian influenza (AI), in poultry. Wisconsin has declared a state of emergency and the worst case so far, affecting 5.3 million birds, was reported earlier this week in an egg-laying facility in Iowa.

But what’s the link with cereals and oilseeds futures? Essentially, futures prices for soybeans and maize have been impacted due to their derived demand in the production of animal feed.

Restrictions on imports of US birds and eggs have been put in place by several countries already, most notably Mexico, the biggest buyer of US chicken.

So reduced demand for US poultry products has an indirect influence on the amount of feed required by the industry.

The EU appears to have been sheltered by the downward trending US prices so far, with both Paris maize and rapeseed prices relatively unchanged yesterday.

Markets will however, be watching with interest how the bird flu outbreak develops in the US, and any further impacts on cereals and oilseeds prices that this could have.

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