Brazil sees 700,000 tonne gap in global poultry market due to avian flu

Chicken are pictured at a poultry factory in Lapa city

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Outbreaks of avian flu in several countries in recent months have caused a gap in the global poultry export market of around 700,000 tonnes a year, Brazil’s poultry exporters association ABPA projected on Tuesday.

ABPA organized an event in Sao Paulo with government officials to discuss action to prevent the disease from entering Brazil and explore ways to fill the gap in the world market for chicken meat. Brazil is the world’s largest poultry exporter.

Brazil’s agriculture ministry published a decree on Tuesday imposing more stringent rules for poultry farm operations including installation of screens to make it harder for chickens to have contact with wild migrating birds and sanitation systems for cars and people entering production areas.

“We are going to do 100 percent of what is possible to do to prevent the disease,” said Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, who took part in the event.

ABPA President Francisco Turra said Brazilian poultry exporting companies will try to grab as much as possible of the volume left by suppliers who had to stop export deals.

Brazilian poultry exports rose in January, mostly due to the avian flu outbreaks in other producing countries, jumping 14.8 percent from year-earlier levels to 363,600 tonnes.

BRF SA and JBS SA are the largest Brazilian poultry exporters.

(Reporting by Gustavo Bonato; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by James Dalgleish)