China backs away from U.S. chicken during COVID-19 recovery -Sanderson Farms

CHICAGO, May 28 (Reuters) - China will be out of the market for U.S. chicken in June as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, in a reversal from a recent surge of imports, the president of American poultry company Sanderson Farms Inc said on Thursday.

“China is out because they bought so much product,” said Lampkin Butts, Sanderson’s president. “They were anticipating their economy reopening, which it has, but the restaurants are not back to anything close to normal.”

China lifted a nearly five-year ban on imports of U.S. poultry in November after a fatal hog disease killed millions of pigs in the pork-loving country, raising its need to import meat.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have increased more recently over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Reporting by Tom Polansek, Editing by Franklin Paul