AgriCensus Report

Real impact of swine fever to be felt in China next year: sources

Pork prices in China could see a spike in 2019 due to a potential pig supply shortage caused by the ongoing African Swine Fever (ASF) incident in the country, according to government and market sources.

A government official from the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said at an industry event in China on Saturday that, unless controlled quickly, the spread of the fatal disease could have a long-term impact on meat prices.

A shortage of pig supply may occur “if the disease cannot be effectively controlled or [if it] spreads even further, causing farmers’ willingness to replenish stock to be weak,” the chief from the price-monitoring centre at NDRC told Chinese private newswire Caixin.

Two new ASF outbreaks were found in both western and north-eastern parts of China on Sunday, taking the total number of outbreaks this year to 92.

However, the impact of more than 600,000 dead pigs has been deemed minimal for China’s pig supply in the short-term, but will have a bigger impact next year.

“The culling of pigs has little direct impact on pig stocks as China produces more than 700 million a year and culls 2 million pigs on average per day,” a China-based analyst from an international crusher told AgriCensus.

“It mainly effects stock replenishment. The replenishment declines 10% if there is no margin. The long-term effect is bigger,” he added.

China’s soybean crushers have been closely watching the potential impact of ASF on pig supply as soymeal – the main product from crushed soybean – is a main source of protein in pig feed.

“The impact on soymeal demand will firstly depend on pig stock level and secondly rely on the margin [for pig farmers],” the same analyst said.

China’s government says it will import 84 million mt of soybeans in the 12 months starting October, down about 10% on a year earlier and the first time that China has seen a substantial reduction in imports since records began.

 

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