Thankfully the Avian Flu crisis in South Africa appears to have abated for now, with no new cases reported in the last few weeks. However, we continue to deal with the fallout of chicken and egg shortages.
With the Avian Influenza disease waning in South Africa, this very good overview of the past month is a neat summary of the regional impact.
The price of eggs has shot up by 36% from last year, most particularly in the last month as the chicken and egg shortages start to bite.
With American poultry farmers breeding the Thanksgiving turkey, the worst news for the US is the rapid and devastating spread of Avian Flu among the turkey flocks. While Brazilian chicken sales are on track for record-large volumes this year, industry group ABPA said, with the country’s commercial flocks avoiding bird flu infections that have limited shipments from competitors, including the United States.
Two researchers from the University of Cape Town School of Economics have concluded that relaxing restrictions on imports is a pro-poor initiative. In this very well-researched piece, they show that imports tariffs are inflationary, and that the lower income consumer is hurt the most.
The industry is in a flap over whether the shortage is severe enough for the government to lift the brakes on imports. The South African Poultry Association is strenuously resisting imports, while a local importer accuses them of underplaying the crisis.
Who’da guessed? KFC is by far the largest fast food chain in South Africa, and has the fifth-largest number of KFC outlets in the world. 10 million South Africans eat Kentucky Fried Chicken at least once a month. Saffans really love their chicken!