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Bahrain raises hope for Thai chicken imports

Bahrain has plans to buy up to 150,000 tonnes of fresh chicken meat from Thailand to distribute in the Middle East. Initially, about 50,000 tonnes or 30% are set for this year.

Yukol Limlaemthong, DG of the Livestock Development Department, said that the new order would help revive exports of fresh chicken meat, which have been affected heavily by bird-flu outbreaks since 2004, reports the Bangkok Post.

The H5N1 flu detected in many countries including Thailand plunged Thai raw chicken meat exports to near zero from more than 300,000 tonnes before the avian influenza emerged.

Bird flu has not only changed the export structure of the industry to process and export heat-treated and cooked products but also forced the industry to develop better farming practices to fight further outbreaks.

"The Middle East markets have emerged as new potential buyers since the EU and Japan still ban shipments of fresh meat," Yukol said.

Source: Bangkok Post

Natalie Berkhout

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