(NAFB)--Recently - China’s bird flu incidents closed live bird markets around the Shanghai region and in South China. Cases spread to other regions - such as Beijing and Henan. According to a recent report issued by the U.S. Grains Council shows the effects of the closings and reduction of poultry inventories will reduce feed consumption in the poultry industry. However - if consumers switch to pork instead of poultry meat - poultry sector losses will be offset and the net effect on feed demand reduced. USGC China Director Brian Lohmar says this is because hogs are less efficient converters of feed to meat and use a higher proportion of energy feeds.
If the virus continues for another month or more and spreads in China - the effect could be more significant - as China produces nearly 17-million metric tons of poultry meat. A five-percent reduction in meat production would result in nearly 88.5-million bushels reduction in corn feed demand - which would be a 1.1-percent decrease from USDA’s estimated 8.1-billion bushels of total corn demand in China for 2012 to 2013. If pork is substituted for a bit more than half of poultry - corn feed demand will actually rise because of the higher corn input required to produce pork.