According to a Monday report from Reuters, poultry production giant Tyson Foods has received approval from US and Chinese authorities to ship poultry to China from all of its US processing plants.
Reuters cites a Tyson supply chain officer confirming that the company — which has 36 such production facilities — expects to start taking poultry orders from China early next year.
The news comes a little more than a month after China’s customs said it was lifting restrictions on US poultry imports, effective Nov. 14.
China had banned all imports of US poultry and eggs since January 2015 due to an avian flu outbreak in December 2014, despite the US Department of Agriculture’s insistence that the US had been free of the disease since August 2017. According to the USDA, America exported more than $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013. That figure shrank to $390 million in 2014.
Meanwhile, a deadline swine flu epidemic in China has consumers there seeking pork alternatives amid rising meat prices. As of mid-November, Chinese imports of chicken have surged 47.6 percent from a year earlier.
Monday’s report also comes as the US and China have negotiated an interim trade deal, announced Sunday.
“There’s an extreme amount of interest across all those parts from multiple buyers in China,” Tyson Foods’ chief supply chain officer for poultry, told Reuters on Dec. 13.
Reuters noted that last month, the US Trade Representative forecasted more than $1 billion in annual poultry shipments to China.