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Bird flu: the threat causes lowering in poultry stocks

Due to the news that that bird flu was found in chickens in a village in Selangor, poultry stocks plummeted to low levels in Malaysia.

The change has affected Leong Hup, Farm's Best and CAB// Cakaran stockers the most.

Leong Hup fell 82 sen to RM2.66 while Farm's Best shares and warrants lost 55 sen and 19.5 sen to RM5.15 and 49.5 sen, respectively, and CAB shed 32 sen to RM1.08.

Among other poultry stocks, Lay Hong was off 10 sen to 84.5, Pinwee shed 11.5 sen to 65.5 and D.B.E. Gurney lost 6 sen to 46.5.

“The bird flu was not found in a breeder farm,” was how Datuk Francis Lau, president of the Federation of Livestock Farmers' Associations of Malaysia comforted the people.

Singapore, island republic was suspending poultry and egg imports from Selangor with immediate effect after the H5N1 bird flu virus was found in chickens in a village in the state. The suspension would not affect poultry imports from Johor, Malacca, Perak and Negri Sembilan, which were free from bird flu.

While demand for poultry had been good, some consumers might turn cautious, an analyst said.

Japan, which was previously a big importer, has yet to lift its ban on chicken from Malaysia, following the bird flu scare in August 2004.

Although poultry production remains a core business, most poultry companies are moving downstream to further enhance their earnings.

The solution they have found is to sell poultry that has been heated to high temperatures and then sold as this would kill the organisms
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