March 2, 2004, just-food.com:
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that roughly
one-third of global meat exports, or 6 million metric tons, are
currently being affected by animal disease outbreaks.
bird-flu in Japan
March 2, 2004, just-food.com: Japan has announced its
third outbreak of bird flu. Birds infected by the highly
pathogenic H5N1 strain were diagnosed last week at a
poultry farm in the Kyoto prefecture.
The National Institute of Animal Health confirmed that
the strain effecting the Kyoto birds was in fact the
feared H5N1 strain, which has affected many parts of
Asia in recent weeks and has caused the deaths of over
20 people, reported Kyodo News.
Recent bird flu outbreaks in two other Japanese prefectures
were also caused by the H5N1 strain. The first outbreak
was reported in mid January at a farm in Yamaguchi,
while the second was found in mid February in Oita.
There have so far been no reports of humans catching
the disease in Japan.
These outbreaks could result in world trade losses up to $10bn*
if import bans continue throughout 2004.
The impact on small poultry producers in Asia may be considerable,
with over 100 million birds estimated to have died or have been
culled over the past two months. In particular, the impact of import
bans on export-dependent countries, such as Thailand, which has
culled around 36 million birds or 25% of its domestic flocks, will
increase the vulnerability of small producers as local prices drop
BSE and Avian flu
In the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), countries
around the world have banned beef imports from the US and Canada.
The US and Canada account for more than one-quarter of global beef
exports (around 1.6 million tons, valued at approximately $4bn).
US beef exports, after reaching 1.2 million tons in 2003, are expected
to drop to 100,000 tons in 2004 if bans remain in place for the
entire year, the US Department of Agriculture estimated.
Both Canada and the US, in addition to 10 Asian countries, have
reported outbreaks of bird flu. These countries account for 4 million
tons or 50% of world exports of poultry meat (with the US accounting
for nearly 35%), the FAO said.
While avian flu outbreaks in North America are not reported in
commercial flocks, any prolonged ban on US exports, which constitute
15% of domestic production, will put downward pressure on all US
As a result of poultry and beef import bans, the FAO expects the
demand for substitutes such as pork to increase significantly. This
is already visible in Japan where shortages of beef and chicken
have led to pork prices surging 40% in February following import
bans on US beef and Asian poultry.