February 6, 2024


China produces chickens abundantly - but faces challenges in exporting


An eFeedLinnk Exclusive


Last year, China released 11.86 billion broiler chickens and produced a total of 18.876 million tonnes of chicken meat, accounting for 20% of total meat production in the country.


As of September 2023, China exported chicken products to 55 countries or regions, but the total export volume is limited. The total export volume in the first three quarters of 2023 was 392,500 tonnes. The US Department of Agriculture estimated the country's annual chicken export volume at 530,000 tonnes, ranking sixth in the world.


In the same month, 15,600 tonnes of Chinese chicken products were exported to Japan, which was 32.31% of China's total export volume; 13,800 tonnes were exported to Hong Kong, accounting for 28.68%. The combined export volume to these two destinations accounted for more than 60% of Chinese chicken export volume.


As for Europe, China's chicken exports to countries in the region were affected by technical trade barriers. Additionally, from 2006 to 2008, there were almost no exports of Chinese poultry products to the European Union due to the outbreak of avian influenza. Following 10 years of negotiations, in mid-December 2018, China and the EU signed an agreement, in which the bloc granted China a separate trade quota of 6,600 tonnes of duck meat and 5,000 tonnes of chicken meat under the global quota; this lifted the Chinese export quota to the EU from over 100 tonnes to more than 10,000 tonnes.


China's exports to the United States, which favours chicken breasts, have been limited. In early 2004, an outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza broke out in China, resulting in the US banning the import of poultry and poultry products from the country.


Following 10 years of negotiations, in October 2014, four Shandong companies obtained the license to export processed poultry meat to the US, on the condition that these products must be processed from frozen chicken sourced from the US, Canada and Chile. This requirement slashes the profit margins of the Chinese companies involved.


In November 2019, the US Federal Register announced the final rules for the export of Chinese-produced raw poultry meat to the US. However, since then, there have been few reported instances of Chinese chicken exports heading to the US over the past years.

- Shi Tao, eFeedLink

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