What happens if Avian flu hits the U.S.? According to University of Missouri agricultural economists Glenn Grimes and RonPlain, U.S. consumers will use science rather than emotions and continue to buy poultry. They contend an outbreak of avian flu will be negative to pork demand because of the large supplies of low cost poultry, mostly due to potential export bans. This will put more poultry, at a cheap price, on the U.S. market.

Grimes and Plain do have some insight on what’s happening in Europe during its avian flu outbreak. According to the report, the impact in Southern Europe is mainly the result in decreased consumption leading to price declines and build-up of poultry stocks. If this occurs in the U.S., it will be positive to pork demand.

However, in Western Europe, the avian flu impact is mainly from reduced export possibilities, especially France facing export bans because of an outbreak in a turkey farm and some decreased consumption by French consumers. In central Europe, the initial decrease in consumption is fading as consumers are buying the low-cost poultry.

Universityof Missouri’s Weekly Pork Market Outlook