China returns as one of top poultry export destinations


    Ten years ago, China was the fourth-largest destination for U.S.-produced poultry products, accounting for $315 million in export value, according to data from the Foreign Agriculture Service. However, China-bound poultry exports plummeted in 2015 after the nation banned U.S. chicken following an avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak.

    By 2019, poultry exports to China accounted for just $10 million, a fraction of the $4.25 billion in total chicken exports. But the ban was lifted later that year, and over the last four years China has become the second-largest customer of U.S. poultry.

    The sale of chicken feet, considered a delicacy in some Asian countries, is driving most of the growth in China. In 2022, chicken feet accounted for 85% of poultry exports into China, according to the Poultry and Egg Export Council.

    Another influenza outbreak last year led to China banning poultry imports from some states, which could limit growth.

    Overall, China is the destination for nearly 20% of all U.S. agriculture exports, according to the organization Farmers for Free Trade.

    Outside of China and Taiwan, Cuba, Guatemala and the Philippines have experienced the largest growth in poultry exports over the last decade. Total poultry exports in 2023 were $5.49 billion.

    Source: Investigate Midwest