March 7, 2017 / 6:32 PM / 8 months ago

Factbox: Bird flu hits U.S. poultry exports

(Reuters) - A highly pathogenic strain of bird flu was found in a chicken breeder flock on a Tennessee farm contracted to Tyson Foods Inc, the first discovered in the United States this year.

FILE PHOTO: The Avian influenza virus is harvested from a chicken egg as part of a diagnostic process in this undated U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) handout image. Erica Spackman/USDA/Handout/File Photo via REUTERS

Officials have also reported an outbreak of a low-pathogenic strain in a turkey farm in northwestern Wisconsin.

During an outbreak in 2014 and 2015, dozens of countries imposed total or partial bans on U.S. poultry and egg imports. The latest outbreaks have prompted import restrictions by numerous countries, including all top five buyers.

Following are facts about the U.S. poultry market from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Census Bureau, industry groups and company filings.

TOTAL U.S. POULTRY AND POULTRY PRODUCT EXPORTS, INCLUDING EGGS, IN 2016: $4.65 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


Georgia: 1.340 billion broiler chickens in 2015

Alabama: 1.083 billion

Arkansas: 962 million

North Carolina: 823 million

Mississippi: 723 million

Tennessee ranks 15th at 185 million

U.S. total: 8.687 billion


1. MEXICO ($1.13 billion in U.S. imports in 2016)

Mexico has banned poultry imports from Tennessee, according to its agricultural ministry.

Mexico still bans imports of frozen poultry and poultry products from birds originating from, slaughtered or processed in 15 states before specific dates linked to a previous outbreak of avian flu, according to the USDA.

2. CANADA ($662 million)

Banned imports of live birds and unprocessed animal products from Tennessee, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Once a quarantine control zone is established, trade outside the zone can resume, CFIA said. Banned imports of raw poultry and products produced in or near affected counties in 15 states between certain dates linked to outbreaks of avian flu in past years. Also barred imports of certain processed products.

3. HONG KONG ($472 million)

Banned imports of poultry meat and products raised, processed, slaughtered or shipped from Lincoln County, Tennessee, and Barron County, Wisconsin, on or after March 4. Imports from birds raised, processed, slaughtered or shipped from some counties in 18 other states are also banned, in connection with cases of avian flu in past years. Fully cooked or heat-treated products exempt.

4. TAIWAN ($132 million)

Banned imports of poultry meat and products from birds slaughtered before March 6 in Tennessee and before March 4 in Wisconsin. Egg products shipped before those dates also banned. Imports of poultry and poultry products slaughtered or processed in states with high or low pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks are banned.

5. JAPAN ($119 million)

Banned imports of poultry that passed through or was slaughtered or processed in the entire state of Tennessee and within a 10 km radius of the infected farm in Barron County, Wisconsin, on or after Feb. 9. Imports of poultry and products raised, processed, slaughtered or shipped from some areas of 21 states on certain dates linked to past cases of avian flu are banned. Fully cooked products in hermetically sealed containers exempt.


Tyson Foods: Capacity to process 39 million chickens per week. Major supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which represented 17.5 percent of Tyson’s 2016 consolidated sales. Supplied products to 115 countries in 2016 worth $4.1 billion.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp : Majority-owned by meat packer JBS SA. Capacity to process more than 36.7 million birds per week.

Sanderson Farms Inc : Capacity to process more than 10.6 million birds per week.


1. Brazil: 4.110 million tonnes exported in 2016

2. United States: 2.978 million tonnes

3. European Union: 1.250 million tonnes

4. Thailand: 670,000 tonnes

5. China: 395,000 tonnes

Compiled by Karl Plume and Tom Polansek in Chicago and Adriana Barrera in Mexico City; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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