Today in the USA
Export forecast pessimistic
The US Department of Agriculture expects chicken meat production to increase by around 4.4% this year to more than 18 million tons, with a further 2.8% growth in 2016. On the export front, however, 2015 will see exports likely to decrease by 6.3%, although a recovery is expected in 2016, with a growth of 5.4% anticipated. This is not to say that things will be smooth sailing for US exports though, as the rapidly strengthening US Dollar is likely to render US exports more expensive and reduce the country’s competitiveness on the export market in the near future.
While the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the US did not really affect broiler farms, the flocks of laying birds and turkeys suffered gravely. Shortages of eggs were reported, leading to record high prices. A dozen eggs were selling for almost US$3 (R43), up 135% over the year before.
The replenishment of the laying flock has not gone as quickly as that for chickens used in broiler production, which could keep this market depressed for the next six months. The US Department of Agriculture predicts that US egg production will decrease by 4% this year, although it is likely to recover somewhat next year, growing by 2%.
Tyson hunches down for A I
Major food processing company Tyson Foods has upped its readiness for a further outbreak of the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza for several months now.
In a statement aimed at reassuring its customers across the globe, the company said while it is hopeful that the annual wild bird migration will not bring a repeat of the AI outbreak that decimated US poultry flocks, all its operations “are in a heightened biosecurity status”.
“We test all Tyson-owned birds for the virus before they leave the farm, and we know the results before they’re processed,” said Worth Sparkman, Tyson Foods’ PR Manager. “Should any flock be diagnosed with HPAI, farms are immediately quarantined and birds from them are not processed.”¡