Global poultry industry suffers losses from bird flu
Poultry industry leaders and analysts say that some producers have a
questionable future, after global poultry prices have taken a dive this year as
fears about bird flu reduce demand.
Gordon Butland, president of Global Poultry Strategies, says he has never
seen such widespread financial losses around the world. While Butland did not
provide any specific figures, he said that a significant imbalance had been
created by the dual forces of bird flu and overoptimistic production forecasts
from Brazil and the United States.
The H5N1 strain of avian influenza
has killed more than 120 people, mostly in Asia, since late 2003. In spite of
the fact that transmission of the virus to humans has not been linked to
consumption of poultry, demand has still fallen significantly in some
"The cost of this crisis is huge...It will be difficult for
some companies in the sector to rise above [it]," said Guy Odri, general manager
of French poultry company Doux Group Worldwide.
Odri said the
industry's problems had made it difficult for European companies to make
investments in mechanisation which will reduce labour costs and keep the
Trefor Campbell, managing director of Northern
Ireland poultry producer Moy Park Ltd said the European industry could compete
on a level playing field with mechanisation reducing any benefit competitors
obtained from lower cost labour.
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