Foie gras production picks up on Asia exports
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French production of foie gras grew 1.3% in 2014 after a decline the year before, with exports growing for the first time since 2011 and Hong Kong, Vietnam and South Korea joining the fastest growing markets.
Production of goose liver and duck reached 19,300 tonnes, mostly from the western part of the country, according to the Ministerial Statistical Department of Agriculture.
While the average national consumption contracted slightly, exports grew to nearly 5,000 tonnes, "close to the record level" in 2010, according to the department known as Agreste.
Sales to countries within the European Union jumped 12%, led by Spain which bought nearly 1,500 tonnes last year. Japan is by far the largest customer outside the EU with 600 tonnes, up 3% year-on-year, while Hong Kong ranked third after Switzerland with purchases that jumped by 40% compared to 2013, to 200 tonnes.
The first four months of 2015 confirm the trend with exports up 3% over the period, and by 11% outside the EU, with new markets in Asia such as Taiwan which bought 11 tonnes.
Meanwhile; trade is expected to resume in California where a US federal judge struck down a ban on foie gras, allowing restaurants to serve it on their menus for the first time in two years.
France continues to dominate world production, which reached about 26,600 tonnes in 2014, up 600 tonnes from the previous year, according to the French Technical Institute for Poultry Production.