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ASF update: China outbreaks hit 11 – pork prices rise

More outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) keep being reported from China. The total count of outbreaks is now at 11 in 6 different provinces. China has locked down over the ASF threat with prices for pork rising steeply.

The latest report that arrived at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is about an outbreak at a backyard farm in the city Jiamusi near the border with Russia. The transport of infected pigs that was eventually discovered in Henan province on August 14, originated from this town.

What does China’s pork supply chain look like?

The ASF virus has been travelling far

The confirmation of ASF in Heilongjiang means that it has been confirmed that the virus has travelled over 3,000 kilometres in China alone. Just over a month ago, ASF was unknown in the whole of Asia.

The province that has been reporting most outbreaks so far, has been Anhui province, where 5 of the 11 outbreaks were found. Especially around the city Xuancheng, 3 farms have been found infected. Also outbreaks were found in Wuhu and – very recently – in Chuzhou, according to the OIE.

Transportation of pigs and pork has been banned

As a consequence of the growing number of outbreaks, transportation of pigs and pork has been banned in infected provinces. The shortage or expected problems can lead to pork price increases, reports Reuters. For instance, in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, prices have gone up to 18 yuan/kg, where they used to be 14 yuan/kg last week.

Pig noses: soon a very expensive Chinese delicacy? Photo: Shutterstock
Pig noses: soon a very expensive Chinese delicacy? Photo: Shutterstock

Nevertheless, the Chinese authorities have indicated that the effect of ASF on the country’s pork supply and sales will be limited. China’s state radio reported that there will only be a short-term impact on pork prices, according to Reuters.

All in all, now almost 40,000 pigs have been culled, according to the data supplied to the OIE.

Also read this Expert Opinion: 20 Reasons why Asia has to fear ASF

FAO: emergency meeting over ASF in China

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has organised an emergency meeting over the ASF outbreaks in China, with 10 countries being present. The meeting is being held in Bangkok, Thailand, for 3 days. Realising that the Chinese outbreaks form a threat for the whole of Asia, the FAO invited participants from Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager of the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases in Asia, said: “It’s critical that this region be ready for the very real possibility that ASF could jump the border into other countries.”

How to count the total ASF outbreaks?

As time moves on, it will be increasingly difficult to figure out the exact numbers of ASF outbreaks and different figures will be mentioned all over the media. In this report, the official reports back to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) are taken as a basis. This is a reliable figure, but often not the quickest source. Usually, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs communicates outbreaks sooner than the OIE. At Pig Progress, for the latest developments we therefore follow these news releases – but for the total count we will follow the reports to the OIE as much as possible.

5 comments

  • C Bauer

    Vincent, thanks for your efforts in reporting the day-to-day progress of these outbreaks. How are these outbreaks affecting the local markets? The consumer? Are the wet markets being curtailed in the areas of the outbreaks?

  • Vincent ter Beek

    Hello C Bauer, thanks for your comment! You might want to read this article from Reuters, they have been making a feature on the market situation. It doesn't answer all your questions, but certainly answers some: https://reut.rs/2wPwd3D

  • Thanh CP Group Thanh

    Thank you so much Mr Vincent ter Beek for updating ASF stuation in China that country has common boder line with VietNam. I am really worry about that. Could you recomment me some useful method to prevent this disease because i have no experence to control ASF!

  • Vincent ter Beek

    Dear Thanh,
    Thank you for your message. This article at Pig Progress could help you on your way: https://bit.ly/2NWVy2K. We will continue to publish more useful articles. Best regards, Vincent

  • Patricia Torres

    Thank you, Vincent! Patricia, from Mexico

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