LCQ7: Supply of live chickens from Mainland
As there has been no import of live chickens from the Mainland to Hong Kong since February 17, 2016, all the live chickens currently available for sale locally are supplied by local farms. Also, it is learnt that the Mainland has stopped the export of live pigeons to Hong Kong a few months ago. Many members of the live poultry trade and the catering industry have indicated that the demand for live chickens is keen in Hong Kong, they therefore request the Government to actively strive for the resumption of import of live chickens and other live poultry from the Mainland to meet the market demand and drive down the selling prices of live chickens. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective (i) quantities, (ii) average wholesale prices and (iii) average retail prices of live chickens imported from the Mainland and supplied by local farms in each of the past three years;
(2) whether the authorities have, since February 17, 2016, discussed the resumption of supply of live chickens to Hong Kong with relevant Mainland departments; if so, of the local and Mainland departments involved, the number of meetings held and the outcome; and
(3) whether the authorities will take the issue of supplying live chickens and other live poultry to Hong Kong to a higher-level discussion mechanism between the two places; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
My reply to the various parts of the question is as follows:
(1) The quantities and average wholesale prices of live chickens imported from the Mainland and supplied by local farms in the past three years are as follows:
|Year||Live chicken||Quantity||Average wholesale price ($/kg) (Note 1)|
|2014||Imported||912 300 (Note 2)||33.8|
|Local||4 000 899||44.6|
|Local||4 055 016||58.6|
|Local||4 041 960||61.0|
According to the Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Index released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the average retail prices of top grade live chickens were $100.6, $118.6 and $125.9 per kg in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. C&SD does not keep separate retail prices for live chickens imported from the Mainland and supplied by local farms.
(2) and (3) The Food and Health Bureau, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department maintain close liaison with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the Ministry of Commerce as well as the relevant entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaux of the Mainland from time to time on issues relating to food supply from the Mainland as well as safeguarding food safety, including the issue of live chicken supply to Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government keeps an open mind on the supply of live chickens from the Mainland. We are given to understand that since the detection of avian influenza (AI) at the end of December 2014, in the light of the prevailing state of AI threat on the Mainland and nearby areas as well as the associated risks, the Mainland authorities have adopted more stringent measures for managing registered farms supplying live poultry to Hong Kong and Macau. We recognise the importance of the measures taken by the Mainland authorities to strengthen the prevention and control of AI on the Mainland. Although there is no import ban on live chicken from the Mainland, the Mainland registered farms supplying live poultry to Hong Kong, on commercial considerations, have not supplied live chicken to Hong Kong since mid-February 2016.
We will continue to liaise closely with the Mainland authorities on matters relating to the supply of live poultry from the Mainland.
Note 1: The information is provided by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Note 2: There was no import of live chicken from January 28 to September 5, 2014.
Note 3: Import of live chickens from the Mainland was suspended as from December 31, 2014 due to the temporary closure of the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market (CSWTWPM) after the detection of an H7 avian influenza positive consignment of imported live poultry. Trading of live poultry at CSWTWPM resumed on January 22, 2015. There was no import of live poultry until February 10, 2015 and the import quantity had since been reduced when compared to the average in the past.
Note 4: There has been no import of live chickens from the Mainland since February 17, 2016.
Ends/Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:01
Issued at HKT 17:01