September 6, 2016
Chicken shortage threatens China
China could experience its first shortfall of chickens used for breeding due to a continuing ban on imports from the US, a Reuters report said.
China banned poultry imports from the US last year following a December 2014 bird flu outbreak.
However, the world's second-largest economy relies on imported breeding stock for production of white-feathered broiler chickens, which are used by fast-food chains and which account for more than half the country's chicken supply, the report said.
China, it added, has so far been unsuccessful in developing its own white-feathered broiler chickens.
Imports of breeding chicks fell to 720,000 units last year, around half those of 2013, according to a chicken supplier to Yum Brands' KFC.
It said only 110,000 units have entered the market so far this year, below the required number to produce enough broiler chickens next year.
The US, according to the Reuters report, supplies about half of the world's breeding chicks. Only Spain and New Zealand, which are much smaller producers, currently ship chicks to China.
"Even if the government lifts its bans by the end of the year, next year's supply [of meat] wouldn't recover," Rabobank senior analyst Pan Chenjun was quoted as saying in the report.