Market News & Headlines >> China Bans U.S. Poultry Imports

China has become the latest country to ban imports of U.S. poultry, poultry products and eggs amid recent reports of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza found in the Pacific Northwest.

China’s ban, announced by USDA on Monday, took effect as of Jan. 8 and also applies to poultry breeding stock, which includes live chicks and hatching eggs. All poultry and poultry related products shipped from the U.S. after Jan. 8 will be returned or destroyed, according to USDA and the U.S. trade group USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

January-November 2014 U.S. exports of poultry products to China were valued at nearly $272 million, Toby Moore, spokesman for the trade group told Reuters News Service. U.S. chicken exports to China during that period were 239.8 million pounds by volume, consisting primarily of chicken feet or paws. During that same period, China imported 55.9 million pounds of U.S. turkey.

China was the sixth largest export destination for U.S. chicken meat and the second largest turkey importer, according to data from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

More than 20 countries, including South Korea and the European Union, have now imposed some level of restrictions on imports of poultry products from certain U.S. states or the entire country.