African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious disease usually fatal for pigs. There is no vaccine or treatment for ASF. Millions of pigs in China have died from the current ASF outbreak, which began in China -- the world's leading producer of pork -- in August 2018. ASF also is now present in other Asian countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia, in addition to Eastern Europe. Past outbreaks have proven to take years to eradicate. For example, a previous outbreak in Spain and Portugal took more than 30 years eliminate.
Read on to learn more in the following articles about how ASF is affecting grain and swine markets, what the ASF outbreak means for the U.S. poultry industry and the efforts underway to develop a vaccination for the disease.
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Short-, long-term impact of ASF outbreak
Rabobank expects Chinese pork production to drop by about 30% by the end of 2019. It also estimates ASF will cause a 5% to 7% drop in global protein supply – about 10 million metric tons – in 2019. The disease outbreak not only has immediate-term consequences, but it is also poised to shape the future market landscape for animal feed and meat production.
Paul Aho, an economist and consultant with Poultry Perspective, said the prices of protein all over the world are going up in reaction to the ASF crisis in China. Additionally, the loss of hogs in China is lowering global demand for soybeans. However temporary, lower grain prices combined with higher meat prices will be a benefit for protein producers. Specifically for chicken, Aho said this scenario is good even if the U.S. does not end up exporting any chicken to China. The U.S. industry is fortunate to be opening new poultry plants, and renovating existing facilities to increase production, just as the ASF outbreak is impacting the protein supply. Rather than contributing to an oversupply situation as was feared, Aho said the plants look perfectly timed and should be opening to high demand and favorable prices.
More about African swine fever
WATTAgNet provides ongoing coverage of ASF, including analysis and outbreak information. The current outbreak crisis is anticipated to have a lasting effect across all protein segments, impact protein trade all over the world and possibly disrupt the global protein supply chain. Article topics include early symptom detection, vaccine research, biosecurity measures, trade implications and pork market conditions impacting producers’ bottom line. An RSS feed of this news also is available.