China’s Agriculture Ministry says more than 80% of hog farms in China have decided not to replenish herds lost to African Swine Fever, leaving a gap in production.
Reports say China’s hog production has dropped 21% since the first ASF outbreak. The decline will lead to lower demand for soybean and feed products but will increase demand for pork products since pork accounts for more than 60% of the country’s meat consumption.
With the official report coming late last week that the island province of Hainan was positive for African swine fever (ASF), China is now essentially ASF-positive in its entirety. In the west, Xinjiang was found to be positive in early April, followed shortly by Tibet. The only areas not known to be ASF-positive now are the city-based zones of Hong Kong and Macau, which are in the extreme south of China.
Since its discovery in China in August 2018, Rabobank estimates that ASF has affected 150 million to 200 million pigs, which is nearly 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production and equivalent to Europe’s annual pork supply. These losses cannot easily be replaced by other proteins (chicken, duck, seafood, beef and lamb), nor will larger imports be able to fully offset the loss. The firm believes this will result in a net supply gap of almost 10 million metric tons in the total 2019 animal protein supply, which could be a leading driver of recent pork import announcements.
Cambodia Joins Vietnam as ASF-Positive
The recent notice by the OIE, which flagged Cambodia as being positive for ASF, revealed that 400 pigs died from the disease and another 100 pigs were culled. The outbreak is in the northeastern-most Rattanakiri province bordering Vietnam, which was itself found to be ASF-positive on Feb. 19.
Most of Vietnam’s 556 cases of ASF outbreak have occurred in this northern area. Some Vietnamese officials have said that the virus may have entered the country via people who brought infected pigs from China or from China-made hog feed.
South Africa Reports New ASF Case
In a report by the World Organization for Animal Health last week, South Africa now has a case of ASF outside of its ASF control zone. The announcement was triggered by news of a small pig farm in the country’s North West province where 32 of 36 pigs died. Since this was outside of South Africa’s control zone for the disease, contact with infected wild pigs is suspected.
Luxembourg Builds Wall to Keep ASF Out
Add the small country of Luxembourg to a growing number of western European nations that are erecting physical barriers to keep ASF-positive wild pigs from entering their borders. Since it is situated adjacent to the ASF-control zone in neighboring Belgium, the Luxembourg Army is building a 20-kilometer fence to try to keep its nation free of the costly disease. Meanwhile, similar measures have been taking place in France and Denmark.
Japan, Taiwan Continue Product Seizures
Just as Australian officials showed the world earlier this year, officials in Japan have now done the same when it comes to intercepting ASF-positive food products. Reports cite the recent detection of ASF in two sausages brought into the country by two travelers returning from China. Likewise, Taiwanese officials have now interdicted their 36th meat product infected with ASF, which have all come from China.
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