Bird flu epidemic nears record high!
So far, more than 43 million poultry have been culled. With the advent of winter in the northern hemisphere, the avian influenza epidemic is still increasing. That figure is close to the 50 million poultry culled in 2015, an all-time high. However, not only the United States, but many European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany began to experience large-scale bird flu outbreaks in September.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture official said on the 7th that an outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu was confirmed in Ohio last weekend, requiring the culling of about 3 million chickens. Another 50,000 turkeys were culled in Minnesota today.
In the past week, bird flu outbreaks have resurfaced in several Midwestern states, earlier than expected. Bird flu cases were also detected in several western states this summer. U.S. media said the resurgence of bird flu could lead to another rise in U.S. egg and meat prices this fall to around Thanksgiving.
So far, bird flu is in Ohio, Utah, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa states, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. The virus has also been found in commercial chicken flocks in Texas, New York and South Dakota.
Not only in the United States, bird flu outbreaks have occurred in many parts of Europe since September.
More than 190,000 poultry in Germany were culled due to avian influenza in 4 days.
On September 5, Germany reported 3 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza of H5N1 subtype in poultry in Lower Saxony. 5,651 poultry were infected, 1,369 died, and 190,000 Only culled.
British H5N1 subtype highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemic 26,000 were culled On September 2, the United Kingdom reported 3 poultry H5N1 subtype highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in Lower Saxony, 7714 poultry were infected and 1718 died. , 26,000 were culled.
About 45,000 birds culled in Portugal's bird flu outbreak
According to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), on September 1, 2022, the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported to WOAH that there was an outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Portugal.
The outbreak occurred in the city of Nova Vindash, Évora district, and was confirmed on August 29, 2022. The source of the outbreak is unknown or uncertain. Laboratory tests found that 47,868 birds were suspected of being infected, of which 5,000 became ill, 3,000 died, and 44,868 were killed and disposed of.
The outbreak of avian influenza in many European countries in September
is still ongoing, and the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will submit weekly follow-up reports.
4,430 birds were culled in France due to avian influenza
On September 2, France notified the Vendée province of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza of the H5N1 subtype in poultry. 70 poultry died and 4,430 were culled.
Avian Influenza Remains a Threat to U.S. Poultry Supply and Trade
Poultry producers, exporters and consumers are increasingly vulnerable to future market shocks related to HPAI, said Rabobank.
With warmer temperatures and the end of the wild bird migration season, HPAI cases have decreased significantly. Yet the risk of another outbreak this fall remains high, raising the risk for poultry producers, according to a new report from the CoBank Knowledge Exchange.
The value of poultry products had surged ahead of this year's HPAI outbreak due to tight supplies and strong consumer demand for animal protein products. The additional burden of HPAI-related supply shocks further exacerbated tight market conditions, leading to a surge in value. The price of table eggs in the market has tripled and the price of turkey breast has risen to an all-time high.
U.S. poultry exports were up 19 percent year-over-year in the year to June. U.S. poultry exports totaled $5.9 billion in 2021, and the current pace of exports suggests 2022 could hit an all-time high. The increased reliance on export markets for certain poultry products, such as chicken feet and leg meat, creates greater vulnerability to exporters from potential trade restrictions that could result from future HPAI outbreaks.
Outbreak no longer a blanket ban on exports to China
"Fortunately for U.S. poultry exporters, the current world view on bird flu trade restrictions has eased since the last major outbreak in 2015," CoBank chief animal protein economist Brian Earnest said. "Instead of blanket bans, trading partners have set new restrictions at the county, state or regional level, as outbreaks have become commonplace globally, which is no coincidence as politicians around the world are concerned about the rapid rise in food prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "
While current trade restrictions are limited, this may change. At the start of the 2014 bird flu outbreak, China immediately imposed a blanket ban on U.S. poultry, and the price of chicken, which relies on exports, fell by 50 percent between mid-2014 and mid-2015. Chicken feet prices fell even more. The Chinese market will not reopen to U.S. poultry until 2019 as part of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal.
The 2014-15 HPAI outbreak hit U.S. producers hard, with an estimated $1.6 billion in direct costs associated with euthanizing 43.2 million layers and 7.3 million turkeys and reducing populations. Including associated recovery costs, the total loss jumped to more than $3.3 billion.
Rabobank predicts that the bird flu will hit the U.S. domestic market more severely than the 2014-15 outbreak, which is considered the largest outbreak in history. The industries hardest hit this year are egg and turkey producers, as they were during the 2014-15 outbreak. Although these industries have implemented the best solutions over the past seven years, production methods have not changed significantly.
In 2015, the U.S. egg industry boosted productivity immediately after a massive population decline, before flattening out in subsequent years. With feed, labor and other production costs much higher today, Earnest expects producers to be slower to rebuild their flocks this time around. "A smaller national laying flock means less egg supply in the coming months, higher egg prices and less egg consumption," he said.
Coinciding with this year's outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in U.S. turkey flocks, the wholesale spot market value of fresh chicken breasts has exceeded $6.50 a pound in recent weeks, a level previously thought unattainable.