French poultry exports fall by 44 percent

1st March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 1, 2006 (AFP) - Poultry exports from France to outside the EU have slumped because of restrictions or bans imposed by 43 states in response to the country's recent outbreak of bird flu, trade ministry figures showed on Wednesday.

PARIS, March 1, 2006 (AFP) - Poultry exports from France to outside the EU have slumped because of restrictions or bans imposed by 43 states in response to the country's recent outbreak of bird flu, trade ministry figures showed on Wednesday.

Exports of poultry and poultry products, including foie gras, had fallen by 33.0 percent in terms of poultry meat and by 44.0 percent for live birds, not counting exports to EU countries, the ministry figures showed.

Foie gras sales are holding up better, however, most likely because the cooking involved in their production kills bird flu. Still, non-EU demand for the delicacy has dropped 14.0 percent.

France is the fourth-biggest poultry exporter in the world, after the United States, China and Brazil, and the biggest supplier within the European Union. Total exports amount to 1.4 billion euros (1.7 billion dollar) per year.

The trade ministry late Tuesday gave the list of countries and territories curtailing or refusing French poultry imports.

They are: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Congo, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mayotte, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Panama, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Vietnam and Yemen.

Last year, France exported 338,000 tonnes of poultry meat to non-EU countries and 333,000 to European countries, according to the FIA federation of bird breeders. Foie gras exports amounted to 4,000 tonnes.

According to the French customs service, 65,000 tonnes of live birds were exported in 2005.

Middle East countries buy around half French poultry meat exports -- 160,000 tonnes, with Saudi Arabia alone importing 80,000 tonnes.

The biggest importers within the European Union are Belgium, Britain, Germany and Luxembourg.

Free-trade rules within the bloc make it difficult for EU countries to impose anything but limited and very geographically specific restrictions on French imports.

The overall poultry industry in France is estimated to bring in six billion euros in revenues, and employs 65,000 people.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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