In early August, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported the country’s first outbreak of African swine fever (ASF). Three subsequent outbreaks – all in separate provinces – have occurred since that time. With China being by far the world's largest pork-producing and pork-consuming country, ASF's entry into China is certainly an issue of major concern for China's massive pork industry.
Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia Pacific region, says it is too soon to know whether ASF will have a lasting impact on China's pork production or its need for imported pork.
Just over a decade ago, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) greatly hampered China's hog production, but Haggard adds that China's pork industry has modernized significantly and biosecurity measures have improved. He also states that industry analysts now have better access to market information in China, making ASF's impact on hog production and market fundamentals easier to monitor. Click below for his weekly audio report.