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US eyes bigger piece of Japanese market; Thais want feed refunds; Shandong booms.

Hoping to cash in on the new trend among health-conscious Japanese consumers to eat more white meat, the US Poultry & Egg Export Council is developing special promotions for that market. In addition, value added products are being formulated to better appeal to Japanese tastes, noted Yuji Nagi, project director.

The United States, with a long history of efficiently raising chickens and other domesticated fowl, boasts a large-scale farming industry able to take advantage of low-cost, grain-based livestock feeds. The quality of US-sourced poultry products reflects upon the highly advanced meat freezing and packaging technologies in use, pointed out Nagi.

While the US hopes to bolster chicken exports, Thailand (which last year shipped 180,000 tons of boneless chicken to Japan -- is worried that volume in its top market could drop by 20% in 1993 due to fiercer competition.

In a bid to "level the playing field," the Thai Frozen Chicken Exporters Association wants its government to refund surcharges imposed on raw materials imported for animal feed production. Feed costs account for 70% of chicken production expenses in the Southeast Asian nation. Exports from Thailand are priced 30% higher than those of other major third world exporting countries such as China and Brazil.

Animal feed prices are relatively high because of surcharges the government imposes on imported soybean and fish meal as part of its policy to protect local producers of those commodities. Both products are used in animal feed production.

Shandong Boom

Elsewhere, farmers in eastern China's Shandong province have begun to benefit from the growing international market for poultry. They produced 480,000 tons of chicken meat and 1.6 million tons of eggs worth 11 billion yuan last year. Some $20 million in export revenues was earned for the effort.

Shandong's chicken products now account for almost half of the province's total output of animal protein. One reason for the boom in output can be traced to genetically-improved birds imported from abroad. At present more than half of the chickens raised in Shandong represent improved breed stock.

Norwegians Cry 'Foul' Over Danish Chickens

Chicken producers from Denmark are squawking over charges from Norwegian health authorities that 40% of all their exports to Norway last year were infected with salmonella. "Not true," reply the Danes, who insist that major investments in improving hygiene at chicken farms and processing plants has guaranteed that 95% of all birds are free of the bacteria.

A spokesman for the Danish Veterinary Directorate tried to settle the question by saying that both sides were right. He pointed out that the Norwegians made their claim based on processed products, while Danish statistics apply to pre-slaughtered live weight.

The frequency of salmonella among Danish chickens was estimated to be around 10-15%. But the Directorate says one infected bird will pass the bacteria on to three others, despite precautions that have cost producers hundreds of millions of kroner.

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COPYRIGHT 1993 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:poultry industry; Shandong, China
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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