Possible impact of Coronavirus on Chinese Poultry: 01-29-2020

The outbreak of recent potentially deadly lung virus has put spotlight over China’s wet markets, where live animals are sold, and slaughtered. The virus know as 2019-nCov, was first diagnosed in the people who either worked or shopped at a wet market in the central city of Wuhan. The virus has so far killed 116 people and more than 6,079 have been infected. The new virus is said to be the cousin of a virus causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which killed almost 800 people 17 years ago.


Though, China has made strides in monitoring and detecting infectious disease since SARS and has tightened control on the sale of exotic animals, considered nourishing in some parts of the country. Yet, there are markets, which offer conditions that can set off a potentially deadly contagious virus. The disease is ultimately traced to coronavirus that jumped from bats to Asian palm civets, a cat-like creature prized as a delicacy in southern China. According to officials and researchers, the new virus also appears to have jumped into other mammals as well; therefore, the local governments are taking precautionary measures and closed wet markets in provinces and cities like Wuhan, Henan, Hefei, and Qingdao.


Possible Impact on Chinese poultry and poultry prices:

From a medical point of view, chickens and human are not homologous. The theoretical possibility that the disease will directly infect chickens and cause them to be transmitted to humans is extremely small. However, before the infection is verified, all the possibilities must be kept open. In order to get understand the impact better previous experience of SARC in 2003 should be considered, when the lowest price of fresh egg reached 1.9 Yuan per catty, the market was slow to sell goods and the consumption was sluggish.


Furthermore, during the outbreak of H7N9 in the first half of 2017, the lowest price of the egg was 1.6 Yuan/Catty, eliminated 6 Yuan per hen, the market was to slow to take goods and consumption was again sluggish. In the current scenario, before the Spring Festival, slaughtering and trading have basically stopped, and before the market open in the first month, the price of chicken will not be affected temporarily. However, after the opening of the market, until the epidemic subside, factors such as closing of live bird trading markets, media track reports, and the consumption of poultry meat and egg will define the prices. If localities follow up successively and close the live poultry trading, the media will follow up the reports substantially and in short term the consumption of poultry meat and egg drop sharply than prices are expected to drop sharply.


According to past consumption habits of laying hens, a lot of them have gone to the live poultry trading market. If the live poultry trading market is closed, all of them will be slaughtered, which may cause prices to fall and will impact the domestic chicken, local mix chicken, and yellow feather broiler.


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