Highly pathogenic avian influenza was identified in three more states — Missouri, Maryland and South Dakota — said the Agriculture Department. Since the first case was confirmed on Feb. 8 on a turkey farm in southern Indiana, HPAI has been found in 21 domestic flocks in 12 states.
Poultry farmers could register $1 billion a year in sales to China now that Beijing has removed its “unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products,” said U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday. Industry groups see the potential to double that total.
The United States and South Korea, the sixth-largest customer for U.S. farm exports, agreed to limit the trade impact of any outbreaks of deadly avian influenza in the future, announced the USDA.
At the top of the Trump administration's list of agricultural goals for the new NAFTA is elimination of Canadian tariffs on imports of U.S. dairy, poultry, and egg products — meaning a dismantling of the nation's supply-management system. Canada balked at that demand in the previous round of negotiation, and the current round of talks in Mexico City made little progress over the weekend.
Canadian officials say prospects of agreement on a new NAFTA by the end of the year are fading in the face of unacceptable U.S. demands, reports Canadian Press, with some analysts questioning if the true U.S. goal is a breakdown in negotiations. The chief U.S. negotiator told Bloomberg, "We made a request of Canada for improved access for dairy, poultry and eggs" over the weekend, the first time agricultural trade was discussed at the talks.
A year ago, the United States won a WTO decision against India for its ban on imports of U.S. poultry meat. And now the U.S. is back in Geneva, asking for trade compensation because India has complied with the WTO decision, said Reuters.
The first shipment of U.S. beef has arrived in South Africa, part of a reopening of a market that was closed to U.S. beef, pork and poultry for years, said the USDA.
Some 16 percent of U.S. beef, pork, broiler chicken and turkey meat will be exported this year, an upturn from 2015, forecasts USDA, with poultry showing the largest gains.
Sub-Saharan Africa is buying five times as much U.S. poultry meat as it did a decade ago, says the USDA, chronicling the emergence of a new, large market for meat imports.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will suggest at the annual U.S.-China trade meeting that Beijing should lift its ban on imports of U.S. poultry, imposed earlier this year when an epidemic of deadly avian influenza hit poultry flocks in the western half of the nation.
Days after the United States threatened to suspend favorable agricultural trade rules, South Africa and America reached an agreement that will pave the way to imports of up to 65,000 tonnes of U.S. poultry meat, says news site AllAfrica.
If South Africa fails to make a concerted effort to eliminate barriers to poultry, pork and beef imports, it could lose agricultural trade benefits with the United States, reports The Hill newspaper.
The government wants to stockpile up to 500 million doses of vaccine in case it is needed to stop an outbreak of avian influenza this fall and winter.
South Africa to resume imports of U.S. bone-in chicken meat, "initially 65,000 tonnes a year, under an agreement reach by the two countries," said Reuters.
A WTO appellate panel ruled that India violated fair-trade rules by barring imports of U.S. poultry, eggs and hogs as a way to prevent entry of avian influenza. The poultry industry estimated sales of poultry to India could rise quickly to $300 million a year once India's restrictions are removed. The case began eight years ago and the United States won a first-round WTO ruling in 2014. The United States said India excluded U.S. products in order to give a leg up to its own farmers.
The government said it will not approve release of a vaccine against the worst U.S. epidemic of avian influenza in poultry because none of the drugs now available works well enough. "Currently, there is lack of a well matched, effective vaccine for HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] from the public and private sectors. The vaccine currently available offers just 60 percent effectiveness in chickens, leaving 4 in 10 birds unprotected," said the USDA.
A decision by Mexico to allow the import of poultry meat from states affected by avian influenza "signals the disease's threat to U.S. poultry exports is starting to subside," according to a report from Bloomberg.
The strong U.S. dollar will constrain beef, pork and poultry exports while encouraging imports, the USDA forecast in the monthly WASDE report.