Bird flu in Asia: little effect as yet on imports

09/02/2004 10:00

As the Netherlands imports hardly any live poultry or poultry products from the countries in Asia hit by avian influenza, the import ban enforced in January 2004 has had hardly any consequences for the Dutch import market of these products.

In the first eleven months of 2003 a total 11 million euro worth of chicken meat was imported from Asia, out of a total of 442 million euro. Most of the Asian chicken came from Thailand and China.

Poultry meat imports

Thailand is the main poultry meat supplier in Asia. The Netherlands imported 10 million euro worth of Thai poultry meat in the period January-November 2003, nearly the same amount as in the first eleven months of 2002.

In addition, the Netherlands imported 1 million euro worth of poultry meat from China in the first eleven months of 2003, compared with 7 million euro worth twelve months previously.

It should be mentioned in this respect that the export value of poultry meat in the Netherlands is usually about three times the import value; the Netherlands is thus a net exporter of poultry meat.

Imports of live poultry

Imports of live poultry

Live birds mainly from Germany

Germany is the main supplier of live poultry to the Netherlands, accounting for roughly 85 percent of live birds imported in the Netherlands. In the first eleven moths of 2003 a total of 100 million live birds were imported representing a value of 117 million euro. This was 92 million birds fewer than the same period in 2002.

The decrease was caused by the fowl pest epidemic in the Netherlands at the beginning of 2003. millions of birds had to be destroyed and many poultry farmer were not allowed to restock for a number of months.

Imports of hatching eggs down

In the first eleven months of 2003 138 million hatching eggs were imported, worth 27 million euro. This was 79 million fewer eggs than in the same period in 2002. By far most of the imported hatching eggs (98 percent) come from the European Union, the remainder from eastern Europe and America. For these imports too, the effects of the fowl pest in the Netherlands were noticeable.

Egg imports (hatching eggs and eggs for consumption)

Egg imports (hatching eggs and eggs for consumption)

Imports of eggs for consumption increased

The Netherlands imported more eggs for consumption in the period January-November 2003 than in the same period in 2002. Imports rose by 688 million to 2.6 billion, worth a total 134 million euro. Here too, most eggs (92 percent) come from the European Union. Seven million eggs for consumption were imported from Asia, mainly from China.

The strong rise in imports was partly the consequence of the reduction in domestic production because of the fowl pest in the Netherlands.

Wiel Packbier

Source: StatLine (Dutch only)