The latest victims of the African Swine Fever epidemic in China include a farm with almost 10,000 pigs in the Beijing municipality. In addition, the 21st province has reported an outbreak: Shaanxi.
According the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MARA), African Swine Fever (ASF) broke out on a farm in Beijing’s Tongzhou district. The farm had 9,835 pigs, of which 85 were confirmed ill. A total of 17 animals have died.
The farm in Beijing municipality is the 3rd reported outbreak in the Chinese capital and by far the largest in this zone. The other 2 were reported both on November 20. So far only 5 outbreaks have been reported on larger facilities in China, ever since the ASF outbreaks started in the country.
In total, now 84 ASF outbreaks have been reported from China ever since the outbreaks started early August 2018.
Outbreak #2 in Tianjin municipality
Only 120 km south west, in Tianjin municipality, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) also reported a new outbreak. Tianjin is Beijing’s port and is one of the 4 metropolitan areas directly under control of the Chinese government. For Tianjin it was the 2nd reported outbreak after an earlier occasion in the 1st half of October.
In Tianjin’s Ninghe district, a farm of 361 pigs was found infected. In total, 85 pigs were ill of which 17 had already died, OIE reported.
Pigs on a Chinese farm. This farm is not related to the ASF cases. Photo: Henk Riswick
Province #21 to be affected: Shaanxi
In the meantime, African Swine Fever has also entered the 21st province in China: Shaanxi. Not earlier before, ASF had entered this province; MARA reported an outbreak in Hu Yi District of the provincial capital Xi’an. There, a farm of 245 pigs was found infected, with 79 animals having died of the disease.
There are only 10 provinces left in China that have not reported an outbreak of African Swine Fever.
Heilongjiang reports outbreak #4
Also a new outbreak was reported from Heilongjiang province, bordering Russia. Close to the city Bei’an, a facility of 375 pigs was infected, with 77 animals that had died. The location is 300 km away from Harbin and 400 km away from Jiamusi, where the other outbreaks in this province had been found. It is also the northernmost confirmed outbreak from China so far.
ASF, China, the USA and imports
As a result of African Swine Fever, China is also looking to other markets to meet its domestic pork demand. Despite current tariffs on pork, the Chinese even placed its largest order for US pork since the onset of the trade war in spring this year. According to news agency Reuters, the duties on importing pork from the US are currently 62%.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the penultimate week of November, China bought 3,348 tonnes of pork. For shipment next year, the country already bought 9,384 tonnes.
In addition, it looks like ASF has also affected the Chinese appetite for US soybeans. As the virus spreads and makes victims – sources speak of 570,000 pigs having been culled to halt further spread – demand for soybean imports is dropping as well.