ASF Russia: pig farmers see a hike in losses

23-12-2022 | |
ASF Russia
A sow at a large farm in Lipetsk region, Russia. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

Over the past weeks, the Russian pig industry suffered 500 million roubles ($ 8.5 million) in losses from African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks, the Russian national union of agricultural insurers estimated.

Only part of the damage caused by ASF was insured, Korney Bizhdov, president of the union of agricultural insurers, reported.

In the first half of 2022, Russian agricultural insurers transferred 550 million roubles ($ 9 million) to farmers for the loss of their livestock. This amount mostly went to pig farmers who lost pigs to ASF outbreaks and poultry farmers who suffered from avian influenza outbreaks.

Russian agricultural insurance market flourishes

ASF is one of the main factors driving up the Russian agricultural insurance market. In the first 9 months of 2022, it totalled 8.2 billion roubles ($ 140 million), 28% more compared with the same period of the previous year.

Bizhdov said that 90% of the market falls for state-subsidised insurance. Like in the previous year, crop insurance remains the largest segment, accounting for a 61% market share. Livestock insurance has a 36% stake in the market.

“Along with avian influenza, ASF is the cause of the largest insurance payments in Russian agricultural insurance,” Bizhdov said. “For instance, in 2021, a record insurance payment was made in the Pskov region to Idavang LLC, that received 539 million roubles ($ 9 million). The company lost 30,000 pigs as a result of the ASF outbreak. In 2022, in the Belgorod region, agricultural insurers transferred 205 million roubles ($ 3.5 million) to 2 farms for the loss of livestock,” said Korney Bizhdov.

ASF hits new industrial farms Russia

The hike in losses suffered by the Russian pig industry comes from a new series of ASF outbreaks at industrial farms. In the first half of 2022, the Russian veterinary service revealed ASF outbreaks only at backyard farms and among wild animals.

On November 21, the Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselhoznadzor introduced quarantine over ASF in the Dmitrovsky district of the Oryol region, where Russia’s largest pork producer Miratorg is located. The company said that all pigs at its Oryol farm are due to be culled, not providing concrete figures.

On December 1, Rosselhoznadzor also imposed a quarantine in the Krasnodar region, where the virus hit the Yaseni Trading House pig farm, a new large breeding farm launched in August 2022. About 20,000 pigs will head to slaughter.

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ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world