Quantum Foods, a well-known poultry producer in South Africa (QFHJ.J), experienced a significant setback on Friday. They reported a bird flu outbreak that resulted in the unfortunate loss of around 2 million chickens, which were valued at 106 million rand ($5.63 million). This incident has raised concerns about the possible scarcity of table eggs and meat in the market.
As one of the foremost poultry producers on the African continent, South Africa currently faces the formidable challenge of combating a high-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak. This virulent strain of bird flu spreads swiftly within infected flocks, resulting in a significant mortality rate.
According to a recent trading update from Quantum Foods, they have incurred substantial losses during the ongoing bird flu outbreak. The company has reported the loss of nearly 1.5 million laying and breeding birds in addition to 420,000 laying chickens that were previously lost during an earlier wave of infections in April.
Quantum Foods anticipates reporting an economic loss for the fiscal year ending on September 30. This is primarily attributed to the impact of the viral disease, further exacerbated by the operational challenges stemming from South Africa’s recurrent power outages.
Quantum Foods has acknowledged that the comprehensive repercussions of the HPAI outbreak on the South African poultry industry, as well as its complete financial implications for the company, remain uncertain. These outcomes are contingent on various factors, including the future volume of eggs available for sale.