What's New ? - 2020

What's New ? - 2020

China: Covid-19 and chicken meat demand

Gain Report Number: CH2020-0101 30 July, 2020

COVID-19 not only impacted chicken meat production in early 2020, but also had a profound effect on chicken meat demand. With the closure of restaurants, schools, canteens, and other food processing factories, demand for chicken meat fell significantly. While there was an increase in take-out, delivery, and home-prepared meals, overall chicken meat demand fell, arresting the ongoing expansion. According to the National Statistics Bureau (NSB), China’s poultry meat output in first quarter of 2020 was 5.23 million tons, an increase of 1.1 percent from the same period of 2019, which is much lower than the expected rate of increase. Note, that the NSB statistics only report total “poultry meat” output, which includes other poultry and waterfowl. The relative increase of broilers would be slightly higher. Since January 1, 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) reported six highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks to the World Animal Health Organization (OIE). The first four outbreaks were reported in wild swans located in Xinjiang. The other two outbreaks were reported from Hunan and Sichuan Provinces, respectively. Following the widespread H5N7 avian-influenza outbreaks in the winter of 2016 to 2017, China expanded its existing nationwide mandatory vaccination program (for H5) with a bivalent H5/H7 vaccine. With a reported 95 percent or higher immunization rate, the number of avian influenza cases reported has dropped significantly.