In this file:
· Analysis: African swine fever inflicts renewed toll on northern China's hog herd
… A wave of African swine fever outbreaks this year has wiped out at least 20% of the breeding herd in northern China, industry sources and analysts said, exceeding expected losses and raising fears about the potential for further impact in the south…
· ASF hinders Chinese pig herd recovery
… Stocks in the south are thought to have been reduced by 10%...
· African Swine Fever Variants Discovered in China, Posing a Threat to Pork Production
… African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2018-19 led to the cull of about 200 million pigs in China and reduced the Chinese swine herd by almost 50 per cent…
Analysis: African swine fever inflicts renewed toll on northern China's hog herd
By Dominique Patton, Reuters
April 1, 2021
BEIJING (Reuters) - A wave of African swine fever outbreaks this year has wiped out at least 20% of the breeding herd in northern China, industry sources and analysts said, exceeding expected losses and raising fears about the potential for further impact in the south.
The estimates point to the extent of the disease’s resurgence in the first quarter of 2021 after more than a year of declining outbreaks, heralding a significant setback to China’s efforts to replenish its hog herds after African swine fever reached the country in August 2018 and wiped out 50% of the country’s pigs within a year.
The virus’ impact slowed by late 2019 as pig numbers fell and large producers learned to minimise its spread by removing infected pigs from herds early, a process the industry calls “tooth extraction”.
But an exceptionally cold winter, a higher density of pigs following a year of restocking, and new strains of swine fever triggered a fresh wave of outbreaks across the northeast, northern China and Henan province, the country's third-biggest hog producing province.
“At least 20% of the herd was affected, maybe even 25%” in the northern and northeastern Chinese provinces because of outbreaks during the first quarter, said Jan Cortenbach, chief technical officer at feed maker Wellhope-De Heus Animal Nutrition.
Henan lost between 20% and 30% of its breeding sows, a report by Founder Cifco Futures said on Monday, adding the damage could be “irreversible”.
Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Ltd said in a report last month that sow stocks in northern China in March fell by between 25% and 30% compared to February.
“This feels like 2018, 2019 all over again,” said a China-based manager with a company that supplies large hog producers…
NORTHERN WAVE …
PIGLET PRICES RISE …
more, including chart
ASF hinders Chinese pig herd recovery
Duncan Wyatt, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (UK)
31 March 2021
In November, data from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas indicated that the reproductive sow herd in China was growing, and recovering well from African Swine Fever. The population is thought to have reached its lowest point last winter.
More recently, data from the ministry indicates that the recovery, although still impressive, now appears to have temporarily stalled.
Reports indicate that ASF outbreaks have been identified frequently in southern China since the beginning of the year. The epidemic there had continued for about three months but now appears to be drawing to a close, with only scattered cases confirmed. Stocks in the south are thought to have been reduced by 10%, although the north appears to have been worse hit, with stock reductions of perhaps a quarter.
In January, the USDA revised its forecast for Chinese pork imports and production upwards, compared to its outlook in October. For now at least, Chinese import demand for pork in 2021 is still expected to be below the 2020 level. However, several weeks have passed since then, and more data has been published. The year on year fall in import demand may not be quite as much as expected, if domestic production is curtailed.
Any decline in the supply of pigs has not fed through to the price of pork. The supply and demand for pork itself appears to be more stable, with recent reductions in wholesale prices.
document, plus links, charts
African Swine Fever Variants Discovered in China, Posing a Threat to Pork Production
Mervyn Piesse, Research Manager, Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme
via Futures Directions International (AU) - 10 March 2021
While African Swine Fever remains contained in China, a resurgence of the disease would delay efforts to rebuild the swine herd after several years of decline, reduce global grain prices and increase the cost of meat.
An outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2018-19 led to the cull of about 200 million pigs in China and reduced the Chinese swine herd by almost 50 per cent. The spread of the virus and the cull that followed it reduced the global pork supply by an estimated 25 per cent. The number of ASF cases declined significantly in the second half of 2020, leading the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) to claim that the swine herd had returned to about 90 per cent of its pre-cull size. It aims to return the swine herd to its pre-cull size by June 2021. The virus is also present in parts of Europe and Africa and has spread into most of South-East Asia and the Koreas.
China is the largest producer and consumer of pork, which is the main source of protein for the country’s 1.4 billion people. Chinese meat consumption declined to its lowest point in more than a decade in 2020, leading to suggestions that consumers are moving away from meat as a symbol of wealth.
After the large cull of the country’s swine herd, China distributed pork from its strategic reserve to stabilise prices (between 2018 and 2019 the price of pork more than doubled). The size of that reserve is a state secret, but it is estimated that reserves declined by about 452,000 tonnes between September 2019 and August 2020. As the pork supply was still considerably lower than usual in 2020, it is possible that reserve supplies have been exhausted. Pork imports more than doubled in 2020, compared to a year earlier and, as the market supplemented pork with other meat products, imports of other kinds of meat also increased over 2019-20. Some of that demand could be attributed to the state rebuilding the strategic reserve.
MARA claims that ASF is under control and that the swine herd recovery is better than expected. The reported production numbers do not always reflect reality, however, as provincial governments often report larger production quantities to meet central government targets. The pork industry still faces considerable hurdles in rebuilding, especially as ASF has not been completely contained.
High pork prices encouraged Chinese farmers to rebuild their herds, but ASF continues to spread in China (albeit at lower rates than previously). New variants of ASF have also been discovered in China and are believed to have spread through the use of unlicenced vaccines. There are anecdotal reports that seven to eight million pigs have been culled in recent months as a result of the new variants.
There is currently no effective vaccine against the virus and Beijing has urged farmers not to use any vaccines in its treatment...
more, including links