In this file:


·         China Could Feel Swine Fever Blow for Next Decade, Cargill Says

·         Update on African Swine Fever in China - It's Still Breaking




China Could Feel Swine Fever Blow for Next Decade, Cargill Says


·         Official estimate for 24% drop in hog herd is ‘conservative’

·         Poultry demand could see biggest uptick from substitution


By Mario Parker and Isis Almeida, Bloomberg

July 5, 2019


It could be as long as a decade before China recovers from its outbreak of African swine fever, the deadly pig disease that’s decimating hog herds in the world’s largest pork consumer.


That’s according to Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders. The virus, which kills most infected pigs within 10 days, has already spread to most Chinese provinces. Official reports of a 24% decline for the nation’s herd are “conservative,” said John Fering, managing director for Cargill’s premix and nutrition business in the Asian nation.


Many in the market are already expecting a drop of 45% in production for this year, he said.


“This is not a short-term event,” Fering said by phone. “This is going to take several years, if not a decade, to fully achieve structural recovery.’’


The virus was first reported in China in August. Since then, there have been more than 140 outbreaks, forcing the nation to boost meat imports. While the government has tightened animal-safety controls, the structure of the country’s hog industry, with many backyard operations, has made it harder to stop the spread of disease.


China has boosted its pork imports, but demand has also increased for other meats in substitution. The nation’s consumers “aren’t discriminating between a disease that only affects the hog and what can be transmitted to humans,” turning them off from wanting to eat pork and reducing consumption, Mizuho said in a report last month.


“Substitution to alternative sources is one part of the solution to close the gap” between protein supply and demand, Fering said. Poultry is likely to be the top beneficiary, both in terms of China’s domestic market and overseas, he said. Eggs will come second, followed by beef and aquaculture.


The switch to poultry is helping to keep China’s demand for soybean meal from cratering, Fering said. Prices are also attractive relative to other vegetable proteins, helping keep soy meal in feed rations, he said.


“Given the severity of the disease challenge we’ve confronted, it hasn’t been quite as negative on soybean meal demand as we might’ve expected,” he said.


While Cargill says shipment flows are currently hard to predict...


more, including links, outbreak map



Update on African Swine Fever in China - It's Still Breaking


By Betsy Freese, Successful Farming - 7/3/2019


African swine fever (ASF) is still breaking hard in southern China this summer, says a director at a swine production company in the country. He spoke about ASF at a meeting in Iowa last week. He asked not to be named, and for his company not to be named, because he wants to be able to go back to China. He says he wants his message to scare the swine industry. His company’s farms have been affected. Here are facts, stories, and conclusions he shared. For his safety, the meeting won’t be named, either.



The estimate is that 10 million sows and 100 million pigs in inventory have been reduced in China. China says slaughter has decreased by 9 million pigs a month. There are lots of little slaughterhouses, so how accurate is this? It’s not. They can’t track very well, but there is definitely a decrease. There is a lot of pork in cold storage and it has to test as ASF-free now. That means a lot of pork has the potential to be dumped.


We’re hearing about a lot of breaks in southern China, bad breaks, right now. When it breaks, or when there’s a suggested break, there’s a lot of liquidation. Now you’ve got people putting inventory out on the market. On the back side of this, there’s a big old hole. So how big is that hole? We don’t know. Imports are starting to fill up. Warehouses are almost full. They’re storing it up for Chinese New Year and for the shortage they know is coming.


The disease was officially in every province of China by April. Mongolia got its first cases in January, Vietnam in February, Cambodia in April, North Korea in May, and Laos in June.


It’s a disease that doesn’t spread very easy, so why is this spreading so fast? Think back to our industry in the 1980s. You have your buying stations, your feed salesman coming onto your farm, and all kinds of disease vectors. PED taught us a lot of lessons in this country about transportation risks.


Vietnam had 4,400 cases officially reported in one week. China has reported a little more than 100 cases. It’s amazing. How did China control it so much better than Vietnam? We know they didn’t.


There’s been a huge amount of liquidation. If a farm breaks or they suspect it’s breaking, they destroy the sick pigs and send the rest of the barn to market. You’ve got huge liquidation of farms throughout China.



Once you get ASF, there is not much you can do. There are no effective vaccines. There’s no effective treatment. It’s just about destroying the pigs and disposing of them in the proper way. Now the proper way is to dig a hole far from your farm, put the pigs in, burn them, bury them, and then treat that site as a hazardous waste area for at least a year. You put lime on it.


What’s been done in China is not always the proper way. They dig the hole right next to the barn and put the pigs in. No burning. You know how long the virus lives. If that happened last winter, guess what’s happening this summer? Viruses are coming out of the ground like Night of the Living Dead and reinfecting those farms. That’s a big risk.


Now the Chinese are realizing they have a problem. They’re putting concrete pads on the burial sites, hoping that keeps wild animals from digging the pigs out. Rebreaks on these farms is a reality.




There’s so much excitement that vaccines are going to cure the problem. Some farmers were promised that there was going to be a vaccine available by June, but that didn’t happen. There are no vaccines yet. They’re in clinical trials. It’s nothing but hopes and rumors. They are looking for the silver bullet. The biggest risk in China is that a new vaccine that is not effective gives a lot of people confidence and will lead to disastrous results. U.S. veterinarians estimate that we are five years away from a good vaccine. There have been 40 years of research that has failed. That’s how complicated this virus is. The best way to address it is keep it out. Bio-security.