Risk of Pig Carnage Isn't Scaring This $3 Billion Pork Producer


    Thailand wants to plug the gap left by African swine fever

    Country is confident it can stop virus from entering border


By Randy Thanthong-Knight and Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Bloomberg

June 4, 2019


A deadly pig-killing disease that’s wiping out herds across Asia and scaring farmers into abandoning their hogs could be a boon for Thailand’s $3.3 billion pork industry.


That’s according to the southeast Asian nation’s commerce ministry, which expects to increase pork output and boost exports to plug the gap left by producers from China to Vietnam. Thai authorities are confident it can stop the virus from entering its borders, despite it infecting farms in neighboring Cambodia.


“We see a good opportunity for Thailand to ship more pork and gain more market share in other countries,” Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the Commerce Ministry’s director general of trade policy and strategy, said in an interview near Bangkok. Still, it may take some time for Thai producers to boost supply for exports, she added.


The spread of African swine fever in Asia has decimated pig herds in some of the world’s top pork producing countries, and analysts are expecting a global protein shortage that could last for years. In Vietnam, which is one of the biggest per capita consumers of pork, authorities are encouraging hog farmers to switch to other livestock, while in China, demand for imports as well as alternative meats has risen as local pork prices rise...