China's lifting of US poultry ban promising for Louisiana

$2 billion industry in Louisiana

Don Ames
November 16, 2019 - 8:47 am

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China has lifted a ban on poultry imports from the United States. In Louisiana, poultry is a $2 billion industry and the decision opens the market for Louisiana producers as the port of New Orleans is one of the largest poultry exporters in America. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says it is welcomed news.

"In the United States, we are pretty saturated on the amount of poultry that we eat, and the market is the foreign markets," said Strain.

China banned all US poultry imports in January 2015 after a bird flu outbreak in December 2014.  Strain says in 2013, the US was selling about $500 million in poultry annually to China.

"The last few years, they have not bought anything from us, so when you look at what the potential is, the potential is over $1 billion to China.  Now currently we are selling $4.3 billion worldwide," said Strain.

Strain believes Louisiana can meet the growing demand by taking product being held in storage and moving it.

"At any given time, we have over 100 million chickens on the ground.  Now you think about that.  100 million chickens.  It is a huge industry in Louisiana, with some very large processing facilities and we are poised for growth," said Strain.

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