Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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No More Bird Flu: China to Export 450,000 Tons of Chicken

China Chicken Exports

A customer picks up a slaughtered chicken to check at a food market in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. REUTERS/William Hong

Following last year's H5N1 bird flu crisis that severely affected the poultry industry, China is set to export at least 450,000 tons of chicken to around 50 countries and regions around the world this year.

The China Animal Agriculture Association said the 450,000 tons of chicken that are expected to be exported around the world this year represent an increase from the 430,000 tons of chicken that were shipped globally last year.

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The association said that about half of the total chicken exports this year, or around 225,000 tons, will go to Japan, the largest China chicken market. China also exports chicken to the US and Europe

Association deputy secretary general Gong Guifen said China's chicken continues to be in demand around the world, especially in Japan, due to the quality of the meat and the low cost.

The association said cooked and prepared chicken products continue to be the top choice for global customers, accounting for 266,900 tons or 62 percent of the total exportation last year.

Frozen chicken also took up 23 percent of the total exports last year at 99,900 tons, the association said on Tuesday.

China's poultry industry was badly hit by the bird flu crisis that resulted to the culling of several hundred thousands of live chicken and the banning of live poultry trading in most provinces and cities around the country.

Alibaba and other online e-commerce sites have ordered the temporary halt in the trading of live chicken and other poultry products in Chinese provinces that were badly affected by the dreaded avian flu virus.

The industry last year reported at least US$2 billion worth of losses from the bird flu as the government, during the height of the crisis, ordered immediate closure of affected poultry farms and the destruction of live chicken to avoid further contamination.

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