January 5, 2018

Bird flu cost $1.3B in exports; broiler market hardest-hit

The 2015 bird flu outbreak killed relatively few broilers, chickens raised for meat, but it was that sector of the poultry industry that suffered the most economically, according to a new report by the USDA. The virus chiefly struck turkeys and egg-laying chickens. Those sectors as a whole, however, did not lose financially. Fewer eggs and turkeys led to higher domestic prices, more than offsetting sales lost in flu-wary foreign markets. Meanwhile, a still-healthy supply of broilers, which couldn’t be exported, lost value. “The broiler industry suffered the brunt of the losses, which primarily originated in the egg and turkey industries,” said James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.  Read more

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