China buys US$418 million worth of American poultry products in year through August
- Beijing banned all purchases of American poultry in 2015 in response to an outbreak of bird flu in the US
- China expected to return to being America’s No 1 export market in 2021, president of US industry group says
Included in the total was 118,662 tonnes of chicken feet worth US$263 million, the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council said.
“After five years’ of absence, and actually for several months this year, our shipment to China actually exceeded our shipment to Mexico,” he said.
“By year’s end our numbers of total shipment to China are going to be very close or equal to Mexico, by next year China will again be our No 1 market. We are very pleased with the relationship that we have developed with the two countries.”
The deal included protection for the US poultry industry in the event of a disease outbreak.
China used to be America’s largest export market for poultry products, but banned them in 2015 over concerns about a bird flu outbreak in the US. The restriction was lifted in November last year.
China’s chicken production surges, reducing appetite for imports as food safety fears grow amid coronavirus
“One of the primary reasons we want to get back to the Chinese market is that we know the Chinese consumers love our jumbo paws [chicken feet],” Summer said, adding that American producers also saw “tremendous opportunities” for selling more turkey to China.
“We know that turkey legs are one of the biggest hits they have to offer at Tokyo Disneyland. Here in Disneyland in Shanghai we are thinking this is going to soon follow. We can’t wait to have turkey drumsticks as a tremendous snack.”
The US exported 10,912 tonnes of turkey worth US$18 million to China in the first eight months of the year.
Wang Bin, deputy director of the market operation and consumption promotion department at China’s commerce ministry, said the country had been increasing its meat imports in 2020 and expected to see a record high by the end of the year.
“China’s meat imports have become the engine for world meat production,” he said at the Shanghai expo.