Thai chicken sales to China rocket as African swine fever triggers switch away from pork
* Jan-Jul poultry exports to China 33,500 T vs 4,100 T yr ago-assn
* Prices ranged from $4,000-$5,000 per tonne - assn
* Thailand regained access to Chinese poultry market in March 2018
By Chayut Setboonsarng, Reuters
Sep 18, 2019
BANGKOK, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Thai poultry exports to China have surged eight-fold this year as an outbreak of deadly African swine fever in the world’s biggest consumer of pork stokes a rush to source alternative meat supplies, a Thai industry association said on Wednesday.
The disease, nearly 100% fatal to pigs and highly contagious with no vaccine though not harmful to humans, has wiped out nearly 40% of the pig herd in China since the first outbreak in August 2018. The virus has since spread across Asia, with South Korea the latest country affected.
“We exported 33,500 tonnes (to China) in the first seven months of this year, up from 4,100 tonnes last year,” Kukrit Arepagorn, manager of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association, told Reuters.
Demand for Thai poultry could potentially grow further, even after the surge of more than 700% with prices ranging from $4,000 to $5,000 per tonne, Kukrit said: Seven factories in Thailand currently sell to China, he said, with buyers inspecting additional plants that could increase sales.
The association’s members, which include CP Foods Pcl , Betagro Pcl and privately owned Cargill as members, operate a total of 20 factories.
Though still dwarfed by the scale of China’s market, imports from suppliers including Brazil have jumped. Imports of chicken in July were 68,221 tonnes, up 39% from a year ago, according to Chinese customs data.
Kukrit noted Thailand only regained meat export access to the Chinese market in March 2018, having been barred since 2004 because of bird flu outbreaks...
Thai officials deny swine fever outbreak after culling news
By Busaba Sivasomboon, Associated Press
via San Francisco Chronicle - Sep. 18, 2019
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's government on Tuesday denied rumors of an outbreak of African swine fever that spread after media reports of the culling of pigs in the country's north.
A statement by Deputy Agriculture Minister Prapat Pothasuthon said that while no outbreak has been confirmed, road checkpoints have been established to block the transport of pigs out of designated risk areas, mostly along the border with Myanmar.
Thailand bars pig imports from Myanmar, which reported its first swine fever outbreak last month. Two other neighbors of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, have also reported small outbreaks.
A report by The Nation news website said about 200 pigs in the northern province of Chiang Rai had recently been culled and tissue samples from them sent for laboratory testing.
It quoted Nopporn Mahakantha, chief of Chiang Rai's Livestock Development Office, as saying the culling...