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·         China March pig herd falls 18.8 pct y/y, hit by African swine fever

·         African swine fever to leave China hungry for animal protein



China March pig herd falls 18.8 pct y/y, hit by African swine fever



via - 4/13/2019


BEIJING, April 14 (Reuters) -


* China's pig herd fell 18.8 percent in March from the previous year, as African swine fever ravaged its vast herd, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said


* China's sow herd dropped 21 percent in March from the same period a year earlier, according to the data collected by the ministry from 400 counties across the nation


* The pig herd was down 1.2 percent and the sow herd fell 2.3 percent last month from February, the data showed


* China...





African swine fever to leave China hungry for animal protein


By Carol Ryan Dumas, Capital Press

Apr 13, 2019


China’s pork industry is reeling from African swine fever, which has spread to every province in mainland China since its discovery last August and has taken 30% of its pig herd out of the equation.


With AFS now affecting 150 million to 200 million pigs of China’s roughly 500 million pig count, the country’s pork production this year is expected to be down 30%, Rabobank reported this week.


China typically produces 54 million metric tons of pork a year. The loss of 17 million to 18 million metric tons due to ASF will be difficult to replace, Christine McCracken, RaboResearch senior protein analyst, told Capital Press.


To put things in perspective, China’s expected loss of production this year is equivalent to annual pork production in the EU and is 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production.


By maxing out domestic production of other animal proteins, including seafood and eggs, China could make up 4 million metric tons of lost protein supplies. Imports of animal proteins could make up another 3 million metric tons, she said.


That would leave a 10 million metric ton gap in animal protein supplies for China, she said.


China could rebuild its pig herd, but that would take years, she said.


At this point, the Chinese government isn’t offering a lot of support for rebuilding. Private companies are looking at it, but it’s a huge financial risk given the threat of recontamination, she said.


The impacts of AFS will bring opportunities to countries and companies with exportable surpluses of animal proteins and access to Southeast Asia. It will also create logistics inefficiencies and raise costs through the entire supply chain, Rabobank analysts said.


How things play out for U.S. exports is uncertain, McCracken said.


“There’s a lot we don’t know,” she said.


There were some record orders of U.S. pork by Chinese buyers this week, but...