Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Avian flu in Europe, a tainted-meat scandal in Brazil and lower feed costs in SA have helped to reverse the outlook for local poultry producers and push their share prices towards two-year highs. Closer ties with the government are also expected to help as moves are made to develop more job opportunities in the local industry. Eight of the 10 EU countries that are certified to export poultry to SA have been hit by an outbreak of avian flu. The reduction in imports volumes in December and January is expected to continue for another few months. But local producers say the reduction could last longer if the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries monitored the situation. Kevin Lovell of the South African Poultry Association (Sapa) said European producers generally start exporting again about four months after an outbreak. "In terms of international standards as soon as European producers declare themselves to be free of avian flu theycan resume exporting," he said. SA does no...

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