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Guangzhou shutters live poultry markets amid bird flu scare

Posted: 02/17/2014 11:03 am

Guangzhou has decided to close its live poultry markets to prevent the spread of bird flu in the city. The city announced that all live poultry markets would be closed from last Thursday (February 13) to the 28th, according to Xinhua.

The Jiangcun Poultry Wholesale Market is the biggest and busiest market in Southern China and most of the stalls were closed when a reporter visited on the 14th. Mr. Qin, who sells live ducks, said the closure is impacting everyone in the poultry business. “The closure is probably costing me RMB50 to RMB60 thousand. Although the market is closed, I still need to pay the rent, electricity and water.

“I can’t earn any money in these two weeks. Moreover, I will be worrying about losing my old customers. At the same time last year, ducks sold for RMB5 or RMB6 per jin [a unit of measurement in China], now it’s only RMB2 or RMB3 per jin. We sold more than 1.000 ducks, but now we sell 500 at most.”

Jiang Yongquan, a manager at Jiangcun, said the market has 140 stalls and sales are down by about 50% compared to last year.

Unfortunately these live poultry businesses will probably be suffering for a while yet. Beijing Business Daily reported on February 11 that the poultry industry has suffered direct losses of RMB20 billion so far as a result of bird flu. With the disease continuing to spread, there’s no word on when confidence will return to the market.

Home page photo credit: China Daily

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