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Soybeans drop, is China’s bird flu to blame?

China’s bird flu sparks concern over human poultry contact

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It’s only the tip of the iceberg - soybeans fell for a second day in Chicago over the growing concern of China’s newest bird-flu strain, which some fear will curb poultry consumption, reducing the demand for oilseed use in animal feed. The outbreak has one Paris-based farm advisor Agritel warning that this could drop poultry consumption. Bloomberg reports that soybeans for delivery in May slipped 0.1% to $13.7875 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The newest bird flu strain (H7N9) that has emerged in China recently has sickened at least 14 people, resulting in six reported deaths as of [April 5]. The cases were first announced on Sunday [March 31]. Health officials believe that people are contracting the virus through direct contact with infected fowl. The Agriculture Ministry says that the virus had been found in live pigeons which were on sale in a market in Shanghai. Officials believe that the infected pigeons are unlikely to be the only species of poultry carrying the virus.

It’s unknown if the virus is spreading easily between people. Scientists are monitoring closely to see if the flu could evolve into a global pandemic. In 2003 H5N1 spread across predominantly Asian countries that killed 360 people worldwide after close contact with infected birds.

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