Japan may resume imports of fresh frozen chicken from Thailand in the third quarter, according to Thai chicken exporter Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF).

“We have seen reports that inventories of fresh frozen chickens in Japan are declining sharply. It is likely that Japan will announce an import of Thai fresh products by the third quarter,” CPF’s chief executive Adirek Sripratak was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Adirek said the company expects to resume exports of fresh frozen chickens to the EU in the fourth quarter. The EU is the second biggest buyer of Thai chicken after Japan.

The Thai poultry industry has been hit hard by several outbreaks of bird flu in parts of Asia earlier this year. Millions of chickens were killed and the disease also led to the death of more than 20 humans in Thailand and Vietnam.