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Philippine hog industry down by 25% since ASF confirmed
7 August 2020 – The Philippine hog industry has lost over 3.6 million heads of pigs since ASF was first confirmed in September 2019, estimates by the ASF Crisis Management Team Technical Working Group show. This represents about 25% of total inventory. Sow population is also down nearly 26% to 380,837 heads.
Official data from the Bureau of Animal Industry show nearly 300,000 pigs have been culled directly due to ASF. However, Dr Angel Manabat, Chairman for Biosecurity & Surveillance of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners clarified to Asian Agribiz that the industry estimate includes not just those lost directly to ASF and depopulation due to ASF outbreaks, but also those that were part of the preemptive downsizing by farmers to minimize potential losses.
The virus continues to ravage the industry, with outbreaks currently being reported in Southern Luzon, another key pig producing region.
ASF has pushed consolidation in Vietnam
7 August 2020 – Pig farmers in Vietnam are facing a new reality – the consolidation process has been fast-tracked with new professional players, said Johan van den Ban, Managing Director of De Heus Vietnam. “Some feed producers have invested in breeding farms, becoming distributors of farm equipment, or stepping into commercial production,” he told Asian Agribiz, adding that in order to survive, farmers are forced to improve biosecurity, productivity, and management skills. Chain production will also take place, and this is an inevitable trend, he believes.
Before Vietnam was hit by ASF, household farms accounted for some 80% of the pig industry. According to the Department of Livestock Production, the country had 2.9 million household pig farms in 2016. In late 2019, after the first round of ASF outbreak, this number has fallen to 2.5 million farms.
China investing in Argentina pork production
6 August 2020 – China is nearing an initial agreement with Argentina on pork trade, according to Argentina’s Trade and Investment Promotion Board. This will lead to Chinese-backed hog farms in Argentina, signifying Beijing’s attempt to diversify pork supply after domestic farms were hit by ASF. The agreement was initiated by the private sector, and will involve frameworks for investment in Argentina, along with cooperation in areas of health, scientific, and technological research related to the sector. Argentina could produce 9 mt of pork with Chinese backing, 14 times over current levels.
While herd recovery is ongoing in China, pork production is still expected to drop further this year. Rabobank projects that the country’s pork imports will reach a record level of 3.5 mt in 2020.
For related stories, see:
China to encourage foreign investment in livestock breeding
China to see a 15-20% drop in 2020 pork production – Rabobank
Philippine swine vets issue guidelines on swill feed
5 August 2020 – Swill feeding continues to be practiced by many small scale pig producers around Asia. The Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) notes that while swill feeding is a recognized source of high protein feed option for animals like pigs, it also poses a risk as disease-causing pathogens can survive in contaminated meat waste. Thus, it can play a role in maintaining endemic or toxic diseases.
Both government authorities and the PCSP have been discouraging the practice, but many small farmers continue to so. For these producers, the PCSP advises that they “cook swill before feeding to pigs.” Swill feed should be heated to 90 degrees for 60 minutes with continuous stirring or the swill should be maintained at a temperature of at least 121 degrees for at least 10 minutes at an absolute pressure of 3 bar. However, when possible, the PCSP encourages the use of commercial feed but advises that producers buy from a trusted supplier with quality control and biosecurity systems in place.
China to encourage foreign investment in livestock breeding
4 August 2020 – China’s National Development and Reform Commission said it will encourage foreign investment in livestock and poultry breeding beginning this year. After ASF killed off over half of its sow herd, China is boosting stocks by importing breeding pigs. Several genetics companies from Europe have already reported shipping breeding animals to the country, and more are expected to arrive.
Industry analysts expect that the country’s pork production will remain low this year. According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, pork production fell 19.1% in the first half of 2020. It slaughtered some 251 million hogs during the period, down 20% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, new cases of ASF have been reported following heavy rains and floods in key pig producing areas.
For related stories, please see:
Surge in ASF cases in China blamed on floods
Thailand keeps ASF out with stringent border surveillance
3 August 2020 – Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development (DLD) is taking precautions to secure its borders from ASF. Following a visit to Ban Na Kra Seng Border Bridge checkpoint with Laos, the DLD said that Thailand is still ASF-free thanks to intensive preventive measures along the border. The products passing through this border are mainly corn for livestock feed and processed meat, frozen chicken & pork carcass from Thailand to Laos. The precautions include product inspection, transport restrictions, disinfectant spraying, and slaughterhouse and wet market inspection. Thailand remains the only major pig producing country in Asia that has managed to save its herd from ASF. Please see related stories:
Thailand could emerge as a significant ASF-free pig provider
Thailand approves 1304 farms to export pigs to Vietnam
Thailand sets aside USD 17 million for ASF control measures
New way to detect ASF identified
USDA scientists have identified a new way to detect the presence of live ASF virus (ASFv), minimizing the need for samples from live animals. Douglas Gladue, from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, said they have “identified a cell line that can be used to isolate and detect the presence of the live virus.” Currently, detecting live ASFv requires blood cells from a live donor swine for every diagnostic test because the cells could only be used once. The new cell line can be continuously replicated and frozen to create cells for future use, reducing the number of live donors needed. It is also commercially available to veterinary diagnostic labs that do not have access to swine blood cells needed to test for live ASFv.
See related story:
New rapid test for ASF introduced
Live pig price in Luzon down slightly on low demand
31 July 2020 – Live pig prices in the Philippines decreased slightly due to low demand, as well as new ASF outbreaks in Calabarzon, south of Metro Manila. As of the third week of July, the highest live price recorded was USD 3.50/kg, down from USD 3.70/kg two weeks before. An industry stakeholder told Asian Agribiz that the price drop is temporary, as farmers in the ASF-hit areas are selling their stocks. Once those are gone, however, he said live price will surge. Meanwhile, Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners told Asian Agribiz that demand for pork has slipped, as consumers’ purchasing power has decreased. Dr Lapus noted that the low demand is temporary since Filipinos continue to prefer pork over other meats.
Pig farmers in India’s northeast oppose reopening of borders
30 July 2020 – The North East Progressive Pig Farmers’ Association has opposed moves by India’s Central government to allow the transport of pigs from the states of Haryana and Punjab to the northeast. The Association together with state governments in the northeast have written to the Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries to reconsider the move. An outbreak of ASF in the northeastern states resulted in the ban on inter district transport of pigs. Northeastern farmers fear that reopening borders will worsen the ASF spread in the area.
Cebu sees its pig inventory up on low demand
29 July 2020 – While pig stocks have drastically fallen in Luzon, Philippines due to ASF, pig inventory in Cebu province is on the rise. Rolando Tambago, President of the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative told Asian Agribiz that stocks are building up because pork demand is currently 30% below normal. With the number of Covid-19 cases still rising, Cebu City, the biggest market in the Visayas and Mindanao region and a leading tourism draw for the country, remains under strict movement restrictions. Mr Tambago said that the live price of pigs is down to about USD 2.05/kg from USD 2.45/kg in May, but there has been no movement on pork retail price.
Kansas State University working on ASF vaccine
28 July 2020 – Kansas State University (K-State) researchers are working on developing an ASF vaccine, utilizing a technology based on a novel adenovirus backbone, developed from human adenovirus serotype 6. The technology “can amplify a transgene up to 10,000 copies in the infected cell without producing infectious viruses,” Waithaka Mwangi, Professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine said in a press release.
Dr Mwangi explained that the technology of single-cycle adenovirus, or SCAd, allows a recombinant virus encoding a gene of interest to mediate protein expression in an infected cell in a similar manner as a replication competent virus but without producing infectious progeny — making it safe to use.
He noted that the SCAd platform can safely induce more robust and persistent immune responses compared to live, inactivated, and subunit vaccines that are traditionally used. “We believe this will be a way to deliver a safe and effective vaccine,” he added.
The project is being funded by a research agreement facilitated by K-State Innovation Partners and MEDIAN Diagnostics Inc (MDx), a veterinary medicine company based in South Korea. MDx expects the formulation and testing of the new ASF vaccine candidate to be completed through the project, which is entering the first year of funding and will continue through 2023.
China to auction another 10,000 tons of pork on July 30
28 July 2020 – China is set to auction another 10,000 tons of frozen pork from its reserves on July 30, a report by Reuters citing the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center. This follows an auction of 10,000 tons on July 23. To date, China has sold over 400,000 tonnes of pork from reserves to help bring down prices. In its Pork Quarterly Q3 2020 report, Rabobank noted that prices in China “has soared, driven by low hog supply following liquidation in May.” Prices will remain high given the expected lower imports and more ASF outbreaks due to heavy rain and flooding.
International collaboration needed to minimize ASF impact
27 July 2020 – International collaboration will be needed to minimize the impact of ASF around the world, according to FAO and OIE. “Coordinated Global Initiatives should happen alongside maintaining transparency of reporting animal diseases and investing in strong and resilient animal health systems,” the two agencies said. They noted many countries do not have the resources to rapidly detect and contain viral animal disease and said risk communication will be crucial in effectively addressing high-risk pathways and practices. “Today, 51 countries are affected by ASF and it continues to spread,” said Matthew Stone, OIE Deputy Director General for International Standards and Science.
Vietnam imported more than 11,000 breeding pigs for restock
27 July 2020 – In the first six months of 2020, Vietnam imported 11,411 breeding pigs valued at USD 8 million. According to the Department of Livestock Production (DLP), the pigs were imported from Thailand, USA, Taiwan and Canada. The import from Thailand accounted for almost 50%. According to DLP, the pigs imported from other markets are GGP pigs, while the pigs imported from Thailand are F1 sows, to serve the local demand for restocking. The DLP said Vietnam lacks 200,000 weaned piglets in Q3 for restocking.
Indonesia working on an ASF vaccine
24 July 2020 – by MELIYANA – The Veterinary Pharmacy Center of Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry is working in collaboration with local researchers in trying to develop an ASF vaccine. Ngurah Mahardika, researcher from Bali’s Udayana University, said they did a first trial in May by testing a vaccine candidate in North Sumatra. “Unfortunately, the vaccine candidate didn’t show protection,” Prof Mahardika told Asian Agribiz. The ASF virus is very complex and has 190 proteins, but the researchers only managed to express five of the six targeted proteins. “A new vaccine candidate has been developed based on the first trial and this one successfully expressed all the six proteins. However, we haven’t tested it yet in the field,” he said.
Unfortunately, the researchers’ efforts are being hampered by the lack of a diagnostic system and reagents for the ASF virus. “We must develop the diagnostic system and reagents by ourselves,” said Prof Mahardika. The Covid-19 pandemic also has been a hindrance for the team. “We could actually test the vaccine in Bali. However, the government hasn’t yet declared Bali as ASF-positive. Therefore, we must conduct the test in North Sumatra, but that means high costs and difficulties in test monitoring.”
Covid-19 impact on pork industry to be ‘long-lasting’ – Rabobank
24 July 2020 – Even as ASF remains the key driving force behind global pork trade, Covid-19’s impact on global pork supply chains “is expected to be long-lasting.” In its Pork Quarterly Q3 2020 Report, Rabobank noted that the pandemic has brought challenges in pork production, processing, trading, and consumption. These could “reshape the industry, with changes expected in labor access, rising automation, product mix, and distribution in the coming years.” The bank noted that “rising uncertainties” will continue to affect outlook for global pork supply, and result in “volatile trading conditions.”
Visayas, Mindanao hog farmers suffer low price
23 July 2020 – While live prices of pigs have risen in Luzon, Philippines, hog farmers in the Visayas and Mindanao continue to suffer from low prices. While live price in the Luzon has reached is as high as USD 3.65/kg, the highest it is in the VisMin region is USD 2.43/kg. In April, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced it would help regional producers ship their surplus pork to Luzon, which although the biggest pork consumer, also suffered the biggest hit from ASF. However, some industry players told Asian Agribiz that the DA has not done much, with traders doing the shipping and dictating the live price.
China to sell 10,000 tons of frozen pork
23 July 2020 – China will auction 10,000 tons of frozen pork from its state reserves on July 23, a report by Reuters said, citing the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center. Reuters said China has already sold some 420,000 tons of pork from reserves to date to help ease pork prices. Even as the country continues to rebuild its herd, many observers note that the country’s pig industry will take time to return to pre-ASF levels. Various projections place the country’s pork production will continue to be down this year, with imports rising to fill the supply gap.
Government, swine vets collaborate in ASF control project
22 July 2020 – The Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) and the Agricultural Training Institute at the International Training Center for Pig Husbandry (ATI-ITCPH) have signed a memorandum of agreement to undertake the Bantay ASF sa Barangay project. The project highlights ongoing private and government efforts in controlling the spread of ASF. Under the project, the PCSP and the ATI-ITCPH will help in knowledge transfer to local government units down to the barangay levels. Originally conceived by the PCSP, the project’s primary aim is to conduct surveillance, monitor, and control the spread of ASF from infected areas to non-infected areas. It also encourages the leveling up of biosecurity practices in small-scale and commercial farming systems, through the PCSP biosecurity leveling system.
Nagaland clamps down on pig smuggling to control disease outbreaks
22 July 2020 – The smuggling of pigs from Assam into Nagaland in northeast India has prompted authorities to warn the public about consuming pork from unknown sources. A truck carrying 12 pigs was stopped by Nagaland police on July 17. Nine of the 12 pigs were dead at the time of discovery. According to post mortem reports, they had died of Classical Swine Fever (CSF). Nagaland had thus far no reported outbreak of CSF. All northeast state governments have banned the import of pigs in view of the ASF outbreak in the region.
See our related stories on ASF in India:
India addresses ASF in a practical manner
Arunachal Pradesh latest Indian state to report ASF
India confirms ASF in its northeast state
Pig farmers in Bali need seek government assistance
21 July 2020 – Pig farmers in Bali Indonesia need a vaccine to protect their pigs from ASF since the virus has killed tens of thousands of pigs and caused losses of more than USD 102 million. “The information [from the government] that an ASF vaccine is being developed is encouraging,” I Ketut Hari Suyasa, Chairman of the Bali Pig Farmers Association told Asian Agribiz. Besides vaccine, “we also need assistance from the government to rebuild the pig farming sector,” he added.
ASF emerges in Kayah, Myanmar
21 July 2020 – Some farms in Kayah have spotted dead pigs at the end of June and sent the samples to the Mandalay’s lab. Almost 50 samples were ASF-positive, according to the Livestock and Health Department. ASF surfaced in Myanmar in 2019, and the current number of pig fatalities is 3000, according to the Livestock and Health Department. Aung Soe Min Kyaw, Secretary of the Myanmar Pig Farmers and Producers Association, said ASF outbreaks and other swine diseases have halved domestic pork consumption and disrupted the market.
Pork price in Vietnam will remain high until 2022
21 July 2020 – Vissan JSC said pork price will reach USD 4.3 and remain high during H2 this year. At its 2020 annual general meeting, Vissan pointed out the reason for rising pork price is due to shortage of supply as farmers are still concerned about ASF. The company predicts the price will slowly decline in 2021 and return to the level before ASF in 2022. This year, Vissan expects its revenue to increase 12% compared to last year. However, profit will reduce by 20%.
Global meat consumption to grow by 12% in next decade
20 July 2020 – Despite outbreaks of ASF in Asia, global meat consumption will grow by 12% in the coming decade, with poultry accounting for half of the increase, said the OECD and FAO. Aquaculture, meanwhile, is expected to overtake capture fisheries as the leading source of fish worldwide by 2024. The report said two factors will boost meat consumption. Low feed costs will make livestock and poultry farming more lucrative. Besides, consumers in middle-income countries are expected to use their additional income to transform their diets from staples to higher-value products, such as meats.
Kemin applies for US patent for ASF control in feed
20 July 2020 – Kemin Industries has acquired a US patent application for a method to control the ASF virus in feed and feed ingredients using Kemin’s Sal Curb. Sal Curb, by using a blended solution of formaldehyde and propionic acid, known to eliminate mold and pathogens, the product plays an important role in reducing biosecurity risks. Data generated at Kansas State University demonstrates that Sal Curb effectively inactivates the ASF virus in livestock feed. A previous study had shown that an array of viral pathogens, including the ASF virus, could survive in feed ingredients under simulated transboundary shipping models.
Test-and-remove ASF protocol study taking place in Vietnam
17 July 2020 – The US-based Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) has announced an additional study on ASF management and control taking place in Vietnam. The test-and-remove protocol is based on the premise that ASF, while highly infectious, has a relatively slow transmission. The targeted removal process involves immediate removal of any sow exhibiting clinical signs of ASF, submitting blood for ASF detection by PCR, and if the animal is determined positive, adjacent animals (two up and two down the trough from the sow) are also removed.
The study will test the sufficiency of this methodology for ASF elimination in the Vietnamese sow herd, while in the process testing four commercially available ASF point-of-care assays on diagnostic performance for detecting ASF in suspect and non-clinical neighboring animals.
Vietnamese pig farmers have already followed China’s lead with the use of the test-and-remove protocol to explore its efficacy. However, some 20% of ASF-affected sow farms in the country have been unsuccessful in eliminating ASF through depopulation/repopulation, creating interest in the targeted removal protocol.
Researchers working on this study, which is funded by a USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service grant received in 2019, are from Boehringer Ingelheim, Iowa State University, and Nong Lam University.
China’s pork supply to ease by Q4
16 July 2020 – Construction of new pig farms and ongoing restocking efforts will help ease pork supply in China beginning the 4Q this year. According to an official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs cited by Xinhua news agency, the inventory of productive sows has gone up 28.6% since September 2019. Live hogs stocks are also up 20.9% from January. The official said these developments, with help from higher imports and an increase of more than 1.2 mt of poultry meat. The Food and Agriculture Organization had forecast China’s pork imports to rise by 42% to 4.1 mt, which is equivalent to 40% of the total volume of global pork trade.
Pigs to be culled in Mindanao town
15 July 2020 – The Philippine Department of Agriculture-Region 12 (DA-12) has confirmed ASF in Magpet town, North Cotabato province in Mindanao and will start culling pigs within a 1-km radius from the affected areas. A report by Manila Bulletin said DA-12 Regional Director Arlan Mangelen has urged backyard hog raisers in the area not to slaughter pigs to sell in local markets. Instead, he said farmers should allow their animals to be culled so they can be compensated based on prevailing market prices. Authorities have set up checkpoints to control the movement of animals in the area to prevent further spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, new ASF outbreaks have been reported in Laguna province in Luzon. Provincial authorities confirmed new cases among backyard farms in Calamba City and the towns of Los Baños, Victoria, and Pakil.
Surge of ASF cases in China blamed on floods
14 July 2020 – Heavy rains and flooding since mid-June have been causing the surge of ASF outbreaks in some parts of southern China, a report by Reuters said. It cited a survey conducted by consultancy firm Shandong Yongyi of pig farmers, traders, and slaughterhouses in 20 provinces showed dozen of ASF cases had occurred since the heavy rains in Guangdong province, the Guangxi region, and other areas. The survey also showed that sow inventories fell 3.87% in June from May in southern China, while stocks in southwestern China, including Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou provinces and Chongqing, fell 3.04% from May. “If heavy rains continue throughout July, pig inventories in some provinces like Sichuan, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Jiangxi, could fall as much as 20% by August from May,” said Zheng Lili, chief analyst at Shandong Yongyi.
Global pork production to fall for the second consecutive year
13 July 2020 – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecast that for the second year in a row, global pork production will contract significantly. In its biannual Food Outlook report, the FAO said pig meat output will fall to 101 mt this year, 8% lower than the previous year.
While China will account for much of the decline, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the US will also post declines. The agency forecasts China’s production to fall by 20% to 35 mt this year, largely due to the continued spread of ASF. The disease is also behind the projected output declines in Vietnam and the Philippines.
The lower production in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines will fuel rising pork imports in Asia. This is turn will boost pork meat exports by 11.2% to 10.6 mt in 2020. China will continue to be the main destination, with moderate increases in imports seen from Vietnam and the Philippines.
Vietnam targets 11 million piglets this year
10 July 2020 – Agriculture Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said Vietnam will have 11 million piglets in the fourth quarter for commercial farming. He added that by year-end, the industry is expected to recover to the level before ASF. Mr Cuong is confident that restocking is progressing well. However, according to some industry players, there are difficulties due to the presence of ASF and the high price of piglets. Vietnam is currently importing 500-800 pigs/day from Thailand to offset low local supply. Our coverage on Vietnam’s pig imports from Thailand include:
Thai pig imports diffuse pork shortage tension in Vietnam
Vietnam increases breeding pig imports from Thailand
Vietnam allows official imports of live pigs
ASF keeps hold on global meat trade – Rabobank
9 July 2020 Even as Covid-19 distorts the global outlook on meat production and consumption, ASF remains the prevalent issue in global meat trade. In its latest global update on ASF, Rabobank noted that the disease continues to impact pig herds and restrict pork production in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and parts of Eastern Europe. It forecasts a 15-20% reduction in pork production in China, and near 10% declines in Vietnam and the Philippines for 2020. This means higher pork imports by these countries, with China’s imports reaching record levels, even as its imports of other species will also be strong.
Nevertheless, Rabobank noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has also severely affected pork consumption, largely because of the reduction in foodservice channel operations. The decline in consumption, however, will not make up for reduced production, thus resulting in relatively tight pork markets.
Cambodia challenged by rising price of live pigs from Thailand
9 July 2020 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of Cambodia is trying to lower pig prices. Minister Veng Sakhon said live pig price in Cambodia has surpassed USD 3/kg, and it should be maintained at USD 3/kg. The Ministry has allowed live pig imports from Thailand to tame the domestic price. However, live pig price in Thailand has surged to nearly USD 2.9/kg from USD 2.5/kg earlier. The Ministry is encouraging local producers to expand their capacity to reduce dependence on imports and to stabilize the price.
Study shows additives can mitigate risk of ASF transmission via feed
8 July 2020 – New research at Kansas State University is demonstrating that the risk of spreading ASF through feed can be reduced by using different feed additives. The research team headed by Megan Niederwerder of the KSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has just published a new study, ‘Mitigating the risk of African swine fever virus in feed with antiviral chemical additives’, that provides the first evidence that feed additives may be effective tools against ASF.
In 2019, the same team first reported that the ASF virus (ASFv) can be transmitted via consumption of plant-based feed. Dr Niederwerder said their subsequent work “focused on mitigation of ASFV in feed through the use of chemical feed additives and heat treatment.”
The new study’s objective was to investigate the efficacy of medium-chain fatty acid and formaldehyde-based feed additives in inactivating ASFv. These additives were tested in cell culture and in feed ingredients under a transoceanic shipment model. Results show that both chemical additives reduced ASFv infectivity in a dose‐dependent manner. As such, these may potentially serve as mitigants to reduce the risk of ASFv introduction and transmission through feed.
Indonesia’s ASF plight continues
Lampung strengthens control on transportation of live pigs to prevent ASF
The Agriculture Quarantine Agency in Lampung, Indonesia is strengthening control on the transportation of live pigs to and from the province to prevent the spread of ASF. Agency Head Muh Jumadh said they will collaborate with the province’s Veterinary Agency to undertake monitoring and sample testing. “Bakauheni seaport is one of our main check points. All pigs that will be transported to areas outside Sumatera must have veterinary health certificates,” he said.
ASF kills 22,000 pigs in East Nusa Tenggara
The number of pig deaths due to ASF in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia has reached 22,000 heads as of June. Frans Samon, Secretary of the Livestock Services Agency in the province, said the outbreak is not centralized in Timor Island but has spread to Sumba, Alor and Sikka. “We have formed a special team to control the distribution of pork. However, it’s impossible to check pork bought by each person. This might be the reason why the virus spread to other islands,” he said.
ASF alleged to have killed hundreds of pigs in South Sumatra
Close to 900 pigs in South Sumatra, Indonesia allegedly succumbed to ASF in the last two months. These deaths were found in several sub-districts. Jafrizal, representative of the Indonesian Veterinarians Association in the province, told local media that based on the clinical signs, the deaths were due to ASF. However, “this provisional allegation must be proven through lab tests. We have taken samples of the feces and blood,” he said. He added that the pigs were from North Sumatera and Lampung and did not have entry permission.
Philippine government to cluster ASF-affected farms
6 July 2020 – The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is setting plans to help small hog farmers affected by ASF to boost production. The agency is setting aside about USD 8 million for the program which involves the establishment of swine multiplier farms through clustering or village-level approach composed of 20 hog farmers each. Each farmer will receive five piglets each, 20 bags of animal feed, and biologics. DA Secretary William Dar said the agency will “jumpstart the economic and income-generating activities in the livestock sector, particularly in some parts of Central Luzon and Calacarzon, where ASF was prevalent last year.” Related story:
Philippine agri agency allots USD 8m for pig restocking
Swine flu strain has potential for pandemic
3 July 2020 – Chinese researchers conducting a multi-year study of flu viruses in the country has identified a swine influenza strain that could potentially lead to a pandemic. However, industry stakeholders are quick to point out that the virus is not an immediate problem, although it should not be ignored.
Called G4 EA H1N1 by researchers, new strain is a blend of three lineages: one similar to strains found in European and Asian birds, the H1N1 strain that caused the 2009 pandemic, and a North American H1N1 that has genes from avian, human, and pig influenza viruses.
“If it is an H1N1 virus, it is a concern and should not be ignored,” Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners told Asian Agribiz. “H1N1 has the ability to mutate, spread and be virulent. The 1918 Spanish flu, which was an H1N1 virus, was a pandemic that affected 500 million and killed 50 million worldwide.”
However, Dr Lapus emphasized that the swine flu is different from ASF, which is not zoonotic and does not infect humans.
China stops most pork imports from the Netherlands
3 July 2020 – China stopped nearly all imports of pork from the Netherlands as Covid-19 outbreaks hit some of the largest Dutch slaughterhouses, a report by Reuters said. A Dutch government representative noted that China gave no specific reason for the move but said that the Asian country “is looking for the source of its second wave of Covid-19 infections, which they might feel could come from imported meat.” She said that there is no scientific evidence that the virus could be transmitted via food or packaging materials, but that the country is willing to cooperate with Chinese demands for further inspections of the slaughterhouses. Dutch pork exports to China totaled 299,000 tons, valued at USD 376 million, in 2019. Observers note that the country’s pork imports will continue to rise this year as its battle with ASF continues.
OIE registers first ASF detection kit
2 July 2020 – The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has approved the registration of the first ASF detection kit to its register of diagnostic kits. The Applied Biosystems VetMAX African Swine Fever Virus Detection Kit is produced by Thermo Fisher Scientific. The company states that this is fit for the detection of the ASF virus from blood, serum, and tissues of pigs and wild pigs (including wild boars). The kit is sensitive and specific, detecting all ASF virus genotypes known to currently circulate. It allows for reliable and rapid screening during outbreaks as well as ongoing monitoring.
ASF rages in Vietnam and high pork price is to blame
2 July 2020 – ASF continues to affect 238 communes in 19 provinces in Vietnam. The latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) shows that more than 34,000 pigs were culled due to ASF since the start of the year. MARD warns that the risk of recurrence and spread of the disease remains very high. Local authorities have explained that with pork prices being high, farmers are not reporting outbreaks and are selling infected pigs to the market. Pork price is currently hanging high at USD 3.7/kg despite increasing pig imports from Thailand. Related story:
Thai pigs diffuse pork shortage tension in Vietnam
Philippines culls over 300,000 pigs due to ASF
1 July 2020 – The Philippines has culled over 300,000 pigs due to ASF since it was first reported in August 2019. In its 10th follow report to the World Organization of Animal Health, the country also reported 20 new outbreaks of the disease, all in Luzon. Industry stakeholders point out to Asian Agribiz, however, that the actual number of lost pigs, including from farm depopulation, is higher than the official numbers. The tight supply of live pigs on the island has already pushed prices up to USD 3.60/kg, and the uptrend is likely to continue. Related stories:
Live pig prices in the Philippines continue uptrend
Uptick in live prices in the Philippines
Indonesia prepares ASF-free compartmentalization to ensure pork supply
1 July 2020 – Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry is working on an ASF-free compartmentalization certification to ensure pork supply during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Certified pig farms can still trade their pigs within the country. “Currently there are pig farming companies that are now applying for the certification,” said Animal Health Director, Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa. “We are also working hard to keep Bulan Island free from ASF, so that live pig export to Singapore will continue,” he added.
Indonesia continues with ASF control protocols
30 June 2020 – The Covid-19 pandemic is not hampering Indonesia’s control of ASF in North Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara and Bali, said the Agriculture Ministry. Animal Health Director, Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa said that “since ASF was reported in China in 2018, we have consistently created awareness about the disease to provinces, regencies, and cities through letters, training, and simulations.” While controlling ASF, the ministry has coordinated preventive measures for regions at high risk of contracting ASF, including North Sulawesi, Papua, Central Java, West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and Kalimantan.
Live pig prices in the Philippines continue uptrend
29 June 2020 – Live pig prices in Luzon continues to trend up, reaching up to USD 3.50-3.60/kg in Bulacan and Tarlac, two of the country’s key pig producing areas and the most heavily impacted by ASF. One industry official told Asian Agribiz that prices could hit USD 3.80/kg in July. Another industry stakeholder said further rises in prices are not inconceivable if the situation remains as it is. National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc President Chester Warren Tan told Asian Agribiz that to help ease the crisis, General Santos City and Davao City, both in Mindanao, are currently shipping both frozen carcass and live pigs to Luzon.
Indonesia tightens pig traffic to and from Nias
29 June 2020 – Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry has tightened the movement of live pigs, pork and processed pork to and from Nias Island following the ASF outbreak in the North Sumatra island. I Ketut Diarmita, Director General of Livestock and Animal Health said the province’s veterinary agency has investigated the outbreak and tried to control it. He added that In early May, 600L of disinfectant, 10 sprayers, and veterinary drugs had been distributed for disease control. The ASF outbreak in Nias is suspected to be due to trade and traffic of live pig and pork through unofficial channels.
Mr Diarmita added that the province’s ASF control efforts have shown good progress. The virus killed 10,060 pigs on the island in May. Thanks to government efforts that include disinfection and awareness programs on the risks of swill feeding the number of pig deaths dropped significantly. In June ASF only felled 2060 pigs. “The disease control will continue, with help from the army and the local public works agency to bury the dead pigs,” he said.
In the ASF update titled ‘PCSP recommends complete depop for ASF infected farms’ which ran on 15 June 2020, the first sentence should read as follows:
An infected live pig can shed the ASF virus during its lifetime, and experiences in other Asian farms have shown the recovery programs fail with incomplete depopulation, Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) President Zoilo Lapus told Asian Agribiz.
We apologize for the inadvertent mistake.
ASF kills 3000 pigs in South Central Timor
26 June 2020 – The Livestock Agency in South Central Timor in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara reported that ASF has killed 3030 pigs in the regency and has caused a loss of around USD 639,000. Head of the agency, Benyamin Billy believes the number is higher since many pig deaths were not reported. The good news is the number is declining now. “Social restrictions have not only prevented the spread of Covid-19 but also the spread of ASF,” he said.
Philippine swine vets warn against premature testing of ASF vaccines
26 June 2020 – The Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) has warned against the premature testing of ASF vaccines in the country. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, PCSP President Dr Zoilo Lapus and PCSP Specialty Board Chairman Dr Tomas Acorda said that “the vaccine candidates may still be in the pre-commercial testing phase.” They said that any vaccine to be tried in the country should already be “commercial batches, as we do not have the facilities for animal-controlled studies needed for pre-clinical studies.” Likewise, they note that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) requires any vaccine requesting approval for use in the Philippines must first show it is already being used in the country of origin.
Thai pigs diffuse pork shortage tension in Vietnam
25 June 2020 – Thailand sent about 500 pigs to Vietnam’s wholesale market in Ha Nam province on June 23. The pigs were bought-up within the day and this quickly pulled down pork prices. La Duc Quynh, Chairman of the Board of Duc Tin Agriculture JSC, the importer, said since the local supply of pigs is currently low, the government should facilitate imports to bring down local prices. The Department of Animal Health said there are 15 companies registered to import about 1.9 million pigs from Thailand. Related stories:
Thailand and Vietnam agree on live pig trade protocols
Surging imports of live hog from Thailand tames price in Vietnam
US looks at three vaccine platforms
24 June 2020 – By Zahrah Imtiaz – The Plum Island Animal Disease Center has been working on developing an ASF vaccine for some time now. Currently, the center’s ASF team led by Douglas Gladue and Dr Manuel Borca are looking at three potential vaccine platforms.
Dr Gladue told Asian Agribiz that these platforms are
1. the ASFV-G-Δ9GLΔUK, a double deletion vaccine platform,
2. ASFV-G-ΔMGF which deletes six Multi Gene Family genes, and
3. ASFV-G-ΔI177L, a single gene deleted platform.
They are now at different stages of licensing for commercial development.
He is most positive about the African Swine Fever Virus Gerogia Delta (ASFV-G-Δ) platform which contains the deletion of gene I177L (ASFV-G-ΔI177L). The vaccine is one of the only live attenuated ASF vaccines shown to experimentally protect against the ASFV-Georgia strain, which is the same strain currently circulating in Europe and Asia.
Dr Gladue’s optimism with regards to the ASFV-G-ΔI177L vaccine is based on the fact it is 100% effective at a low dose and high doses, with “no residual virulence or clinical symptoms were observed,” he said. This vaccine also offers sterile immunity (no replication of challenge virus) and vaccinated animals do not shed the virus to unvaccinated animals.
The commercialization of this vaccine would, however, take more time since the licensing of ASFV-G-ΔI177L is still open for further interested parties.
Vietnam increases breeding pig imports from Thailand
23 June 2020 – Viet Duc International Nutrition Co Ltd (Viet Duc) has imported 320 breeding pigs from Thailand. This shipment follows the first batch of 250 pigs imported in early May. According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, Viet Duc followed the procedures for importing breeding pigs as prescribed by the Veterinary Law, and all the pigs are healthy. He also revealed that this month, Viet Duc will import 6200 PS pigs from Thailand to meet the company’s demand for breeding pigs.
Thailand and Vietnam agree on live pig trade protocols
22 June 2020 – by Chakrit Ridmontri – Only pig farms in Thailand that are GAP-certified will be eligible to export commercial pigs to Vietnam, said Dr Wacharapon Chotiyaputta, Director of Division of International Livestock Cooperation. He told Asian Agribiz that both Thailand and Vietnam have finalized qualifications of pig farms and quarantine procedures for live pig trade between the two nations. Apart from GMP certification, the two parties have also agreed on a list of disease and feed additives that pigs for export must be free of.
Philippines spends USD 14.6m for ASF indemnification
22 June 2020 – The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has so far released USD 14.6 million to indemnify hog farmers affected by ASF. The amount is meant to help affected producers recover from their losses and start anew. Last week, DA Secretary William Dar said they have allotted USD 8 million to help producers in Central Luzon and Calabarzon begin restocking, mostly by giving them piglets. However, Philippine College of Swine Practitioner President, Dr Zoilo Lapus, told Asian Agribiz that the DA should have clear initiatives and protocols for repopulation first. “They don’t have a protocol or program for repopulation yet.”
Philippine agri agency allots USD 8m for pig restock
19 June 2020 – The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked an initial USD 8 million to help the country’s pig producers to restock, a report by the Philippine Star said. DA Secretary William Dar said that Central Luzon and Calabarzon, the two largest pig producing areas in the country, will get USD 4 million each “for restocking for hog raising,” even as ASF continues to hound the country. Mr Dar said the agency will be giving out piglets, prioritizing community cooperatives and backyard hog raisers.
Twelve tips for good biosecurity
19 June 2020 – ASF has disrupted pig production in key parts of the world. While many are still thick in the battle, some livestock farmers are choosing to proactively search for solutions. According to pig and poultry equipment manufacturer, Roxell, there is a clear trend in the livestock sector towards the structural incorporation of biosecurity measures into everyday operations. Doing this will often provide more benefits than just the prevention of disease. Toward this end, the company offers 12 tips for good biosecurity.
1. Install a fence and move your feed bins to the street side. Feed deliverers can fill feed bins from outside the fence.
2. If possible, divide your fleet into an internal and external division
3. Keep new animals in quarantine for a certain period
4. Do not introduce new groups to existing groups
5. Install shower rooms for visitors
6. Create a protocol for your visitors
7. Carry out your daily tasks in a logical order
8. Use a color code per house for overalls and boots
9. Consider your approach to handling dead animals and prevent rodents and insects from coming into contact with your animals
10. Use an isolation zone
11. Organize and schedule vaccination rounds
12. Do not mix your animal groups
Click here to learn more.
Bali pig farmers need guidelines for good farming amid virus duo threats
18 June 2020 – Many pig farmers in Bali are still reluctant to repopulate their farms since they are afraid of ASF reinfection. I Ketut Suyasa, Chairman of the Bali Pig Farmers Association said: “We need guidelines [from the government] on good pig farming practices during the alleged ASF outbreak and the Covid-19 pandemic.” He added the guidelines are important because the numerous deaths of pigs on the island have led to a supply shortage.
ASF helped avert protein glut during Covid-19 pandemic
18 June 2020 – Had it not been for the lack of hogs due to ASF in China, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia, there would have been a glut of protein in the world market, said Will Sawyer, Lead Economist-Animal Protein at Cobank. Speaking at the Asia Trade Exchange 2020, Mr Sawyer said that despite the current situation with Covid-19, there is continued demand for pork in the world market. “We do see that there is a supply and demand opportunity on both sides of the Pacific Ocean,” he said, adding that the US, Canada, and Mexico do have the pork supplies and are looking at the developing markets of Asia.
Surging imports of live hogs from Thailand tames price in Vietnam
17 June 2020 – Official import of live pigs from Thailand took effect on June 12. As a result, the price of live hogs in Vietnam has contracted by about USD 0.2/kg to USD 3.7/kg on average. According to the Department of Livestock, as of June 11, enterprises have registered to import 80,000 live pigs from Thailand. Local sources told Asian Agribiz that illegal import is also contributed to the price drop. The sources said about 6000-9000 Thai pigs are illegally imported into Vietnam via Laos daily.
Pig farmers in Bali still reluctant to repopulate
17 June 2020 – The shortage of live pigs in Bali, Indonesia has caused prices to increase to USD 2.03/kg this month from USD 1.34/kg in May. Although the price is attractive, farmers are not keen to restock, according to Putu Suwasta, Head of Suwut Village in Gianyar regency, because of ASF and high feed prices.
China to build pig farms close to urban areas
16 June 2020 – In a move to diversify risks relating to pig farming, the Chinese government is allowing farms to be constructed near cities, a report by Reuters said. This is a departure from earlier policies between 2015-2017 when over 200 smallholder farms were forced to relocate away from densely populated areas. The move is to ensure that a certain amount of production is maintained in all provinces, municipalities, and regions. New farms are slated to add around 200 million pigs but these constructions will face high costs to prevent problems such as farm run-off leaking into water and soil. The government hopes that with the new farms, supplies and price of pork will be alleviated.
PCSP recommends complete depop for ASF infected farms
15 June 2020 – An infected live pig can shed the ASF virus during its lifetime, and experiences in other Asian farms have shown the recovery programs fail with complete depopulation, Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) President Zoilo Lapus told Asian Agribiz. To help pig farmers in the Philippines in its recovery program, the PCSP issued a protocol that pig farmers can follow as they rebuild, as follow:
– Infected farms should completely depopulate, implement good cleaning and decontamination procedures and observe proper downtime;
– Place sentinel pigs to determine if proper decontamination has been implemented;
– Farms that continue to have remaining animals even months after the last case should dispose of all animals before or after they have been tested and proven positive for ASF antigen or antibodies. Animals the test negatives for both PCR and ELISA can be retained but should be exposed to sentinel pigs for final ASF negative status determination.
US agency to begin ASF research in Vietnam
12 June 2020 – The US-based Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) will soon begin its ASF research projects in Vietnam. The projects, funded by the USDA, with support from the US’ National Pork Producers Council, will benefit both US and Vietnamese pork producers. The initial six projects include the field evaluation of oral fluids for ASF detection, the validity of test-and-remove practices with ASF, examining rodents as vectors for ASF, time, and temperature required for inactivation of ASF virus, composting for ASF inactivation, and methods for decontaminating truck cabs. More projects are expected to follow.
China’s ASF vaccine trials show positive results
11 June 2020 – Trials using a domestically developed ASF vaccine shows good progress, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website. The vaccine, produced by the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, was approved for clinical trials in March 2020. The vaccine was used in field tests on 3000 pigs in three provinces, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, and Henan from April to June. The vaccinated piglets grew well, without any clinical abnormality. Most of the vaccinated sows did not suffer miscarriages. After immunization, the death rate is less than 1%.
Philippine pork imports down 40% in January-May
10 June 2020 – The Philippines imported 40% less pork from January-May 2020. Bureau of Animal Industry data shows that in the first five months, the country brought in 87,520 tons, down from 146,325 tons from last year. Meat Importers and Traders Association President Jess Cham told Asian Agribiz that “imports are still in the air,” as cold storage facilities in the country are still congested. Also, the government tightened rules for import permits. He added that the global pork price is still high. “The situation is normalizing in other countries after Covid-19, so there will be additional consumption which will reduce availability.”
As the Philippines continues to battle ASF, its pig inventory is down especially in key pig producing areas, and live pig prices are rising. Some observers note that this opens opportunities for more pork imports by the country.
Live pig prices on an uptrend in the Philippines
9 June 2020 – Prices of live pigs have reached as high as USD 3.00/kg in the first week of June. Prices have generally been on an uptrend since January but remained relatively stable at around USD 2.30/kg until end-April. Earlier this year, industry players have warned that prices would likely rise mid-year as the effects of ASF will be felt more. Some industry observers told Asian Agribiz that if the current situation does not improve, live prices may even rise further to as high as USD 3.60/kg.
ASF rages in Myanmar, nearly 200 pigs killed
8 June 2020 – Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MALI) has announced the new break out of ASF in Chine State, a report by Myanmar Times said. As of May 31, the outbreak has killed almost 200 pigs in the state. “To prevent its spread, the transport of pig and pork products in the region is being regulated and monitored closely,” an official of MALI said. At pig farms, veterinary department staff performed routine inspections, sprayed disinfectants, took samples, and concentrated on biosafety. ASF first hit Myanmar in August 2019, with five outbreaks reported in Shan State, and more than 2000 pigs were culled.
Fears of ASF reinfection discourage Cambodian pig farmers
5 June 2020 – When ASF hit Cambodia last year, it reportedly led to as much as a 20% decline in its pig herd. In turn, this has led to a shortage and high prices. “We are facing a shortage,” said Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association Director Srun Poav. “I suggest that farms and individuals start raising more pigs. The government has also called on farmers to boost pig production. However, pig producers are reluctant to restock their farms because of limited funds and fears of reinfection.
Masan to slaughter 45,000 pigs to lower pig prices
4 June 2020 – To reduce pressure on pork shortage in Vietnam, Masan Meat Life (MML) is planning to sell 45,000 pigs. These will be slaughtered at Masan’s slaughtering and processing factory in Ha Nam province and marketed as chilled meat. MML currently owns a hi-tech pig finisher farm in Nghe An province with a total capacity of 230,000 pigs/year. The price of pork in Vietnam is at an all-time high due to lack of supply. The government has introduced supportive measures to boost pig repopulation and has raised imports to reduce pork prices.
Philippines approves more pork exporters from Brazil, Chile
4 June 2020 – The Philippines has approved eight meat establishments from Brazil and Chile to export pork to the country. Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar issued two separate orders accrediting four plants from Chile and two plants from Brazil to export, effective April 2, 2020-April 2, 2023. The meat must be sourced from animals born and raised in the two countries and must be free of antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, and other contaminants. The Philippines is currently experiencing tight pork supply due to ASF, opening more export opportunities for global pork suppliers.
Vietnam allows official imports of live pigs
3 June 2020 – In response to the shortage and rising pork prices, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has officially permitted businesses to import live pigs for the first time. Companies importing live pigs must comply with the current provisions on import quarantine and ensure epidemic safety for domestic livestock animals. Thailand could be the first exporter. MARD also said that it would create favorable conditions to increase the import of breeding pigs to serve the demand for pig repopulation. There is currently no import quota for breeding pigs.
ASF cost Asian pig industries USD 55-130 billion – ADB
3 June 2020 – ASF has cost Asia between USD 55 billion and USD 130 billion, including as much as USD 77 billion in lost revenue, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said. In an article on the agency’s Asian Development Blog, Najibullah Habib, health specialist of the ADB’s East Asia Regional Department and Thomas Weaver, an ADB agriculture and livestock consultant, said that “the true burden of the disease is unlikely to ever be fully known. The paucity of accurate production data, likelihood of misdiagnosis and underreporting, political incentives, complexity of assessing indirect costs and the difficulties of accounting for impacts on human health and nutrition, loss of livelihoods and less tangible impacts such effects on social capital, make accurate assessment problematic. However, assessment of the impact is critical to policymaking and the provision of resources to mitigate risk and control disease.”
Bali pig farmers reluctant to repopulate
2 June 2020 – The price of live pigs in Bali, Indonesia increased to USD 2.16/kg on May 28 over low supply. Nevertheless, farmers are hesitant to repopulate as they are afraid the disease, allegedly ASF, will reinfect their new herds. I Gusti Putu Winiantara, a pig farmer in Tabanan said the viral disease killed his entire herd of 100 pigs. “Because of the disease, I am cautious about buying new breeding pigs. I may try with 3-5 pigs only in about three months,” he said.
Spanish pork allowed entry to the Philippines until 2023
2 June 2020 – The government of Spain received a system accreditation to export pork and beef to the Philippines until 2023. The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) granted the accreditation, valid from April 2, 2020 to April 2, 2023, after it inspected foreign meat establishments in the European country. Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry show that Spain is the Philippines’ leading source of pork, accounting for 36% of the total. Last year, Spain shipped over 122,500 tons of pork to the Southeast Asian country. The Philippines, currently battling ASF, is currently experiencing tightness in pork supply.
China bans pork imports from India
2 June 2020 – China Customs Authorities have banned the import of pigs, wild boar and related products from India, in an attempt to prevent the spread of ASF from India into its own borders. The decision was made last week, as the country looks to rebuild its pig herd, devastated by ASF. Two states in the northeast of India, have reported cases of ASF, with over 3000 pigs dead so far.
FAO conducts ASF preparedness online course for Asia
1 June 2020 – More than 400 animal health practitioners from 19 Asia Pacific countries were involved in online training on ASF preparedness initiated by FAO’s Emergency Centre of Animal Disease. Yooni OH, representative for the region said this was aimed to reach out and train veterinarians in preparing, detecting, and responding to ASF optimally. ASF has had a huge impact on the meat and feed market in Asia. This disease continues to spread and threatens livelihoods and food security. The 4-week training started on May 21 and discusses specific topics each week.
China imported record high volumes of pork in April
1 June 2020 – China imported a whopping 400,000 tons of pork in April alone, nearly twice the amount year-on-year. The General Administration of Customs reported that 1.35 million tons of pork (almost three times more than in Q1 2019) came into the country. Soaring pork prices due to ASF have led consumers to stock up prompting authorities to seek more import sources as well. US pork accounted for more than 15% of total foreign purchases in March and has risen sharply in terms of amount.
Philippines to validate locally developed ASF test kit
29 May 2020 – Validation tests for the Philippines’ locally developed ASF test kit will soon begin. The Philippine Council for Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) targets to begin the validation tests in July this year. Synan Baguio, Officer-in-Charge of PCAARRD’s Livestock Research Division, told Asian Agribiz that their target areas will be “swine producing provinces that are infested with ASF” in Luzon and Mindanao. He said the tests will take about 6-12 months to ensure that “the test kits will not be giving us false negative results.”
Vietnam expects pig numbers to recover by yearend
29 May 2020 – According to the Department of Livestock Production (DLP), the current supply of pork in Vietnam is still about 17% short compared to the same period in 2019. According to Nguyen Xuan Duong – DLP’s Acting Director, businesses and farmers are stepping up rebuild the herd. “Hopefully, by year-end, the herd size will be restored to 3.8 million pigs, the same as 2018 before the ASF scourge,” he said.
Positive developments on ASF vaccines
28 May 2020 – The wait for an ASF vaccine may soon be over. Asian Agribiz reports below two positive developments on the race to produce a vaccine.
China targets launch of ASF vaccine in August-September 2020
China has revealed that a commercial vaccine product based on the ASFV HLJ/18 vaccine platform would be ready for launch in August-September 2020. Allen Shu, Managing Editor of China-based AgriPost, told Asian Agribiz that clinical trials of the vaccine were already being carried out in some designated regions. In February 2020, the Chinese Harbin Veterinary Research Institute announced that they had developed a seven-gene-deleted ASF virus that was ‘safe and effective as a live attenuated vaccine in pigs’. This was named the HLJ/18-7GD virus. Mr Shu said trials have shown that the virus is fully attenuated in pigs “and cannot convert to the virulent strain. It provides complete protection of pigs against lethal ASFV challenge.”
The Pirbright Institute ‘a step closer’ to ASF vaccine
The Pirbright Institute in the UK has announced that they are ‘a step closer’ to developing a vital vaccine for ASF. In their recent trial, published in Vaccines, 100%t of pigs immunized with the new vaccine survived a lethal dose of the ASF virus.
The institute said the Pirbright team have developed a vectored vaccine, which uses a non-harmful virus (the vector) to deliver eight strategically selected genes from the ASF virus (ASFV) genome into pig cells. Once inside the cell, the genes produce viral proteins that prime the pig immune cells to respond to an ASF infection. All pigs that were immunized with the vaccine were protected from severe disease after challenge with an otherwise fatal strain of ASFV, although some clinical signs of disease did develop.
“It is very encouraging to see that the genes we have selected can protect pigs against ASF. Although the pigs showed clinical signs of infection after challenge with the virus, our study has shown for the first time that a vectored vaccine against ASF is a realistic possibility,” said Chris Netherton, Head of Pirbright’s ASF Vaccinology Group.
This type of vaccine will also enable the differentiation of infected animals from those that have received a vaccine (DIVA). This is an important feature, as it allows vaccination programs to be established without sacrificing the ability to trade.
“Our next step will be to uncover the mechanisms behind how the proteins produced by the virus genes stimulate the immune system so we can refine and add to those included in the vaccine to improve effectiveness” added Dr Netherton.
The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer noted that this was a very encouraging breakthrough and “it means we are one step closer to safeguarding the health of our pigs and the wider industry’s role in global food supply from ASF.”
Vietnam promotes ASF-safe farm model
27 May 2020 – Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is encouraging the expansion of the ASF-safe pig-farming model initiated by Que Lam Group in Vinh Phuc province. This model is currently being implemented by Que Lam’s partner households under the 4F value chain: Feed-Farm – Food – Fertilizer. Que Lam provides piglets, feed, and the strict biosecurity farming model to the farmers. The Group is also sharing its ASF preventive measures using probiotics in feed, drink, and farm beddings. Que Lam targets the production of 30,000 pigs from these partner farms in 2020.
South Korea develops new ASF test kit
26 May 2020 – South Korea has developed a new test kit for the ASF virus, which will help the country reduce its dependence on imported kits. The Yonhap News Agency reported that the new kit can test acute forms of ASF and can find antibodies from samples more than three days faster. The test kit was developed by the state-run Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency in cooperation with the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology and Korea University. The new kits will be produced by HuVet bio, a local virus test kit producer.
Pacific GeneTech, EpiVax partners for ASF vaccine
25 May 2020 – Pacific GeneTech (PGT) is partnering with US-based EpiVax to develop a novel vaccine for ASF. The vaccine, aimed at reducing infection and mortality, is based on proprietary viral epitopes most likely to provide both potent and cross-protective efficacy against ASF. The PGT and EpiVax approach includes a combination of a heterologous, prime boost vaccination regimen to generate a potent cell-mediated response and a robust humoral antibody response. PGT is a Hong Kong-based company that develops and commercializes next-generation vaccines for areas of high unmet or underserved needs in animal health and food safety. EpiVax is an informatics & immunology company based in Rhone Island.
Lack of ASF kits hounds Philippine pig producers
22 May 2020 – While the Philippines continues its fight against ASF, local pig producers lament the lack of test kits to check samples for the virus. Since February, the Bureau of Animal Industry has not taken samples for ASF testing due to a lack of test kits. An industry practitioner told Asian Agribiz that some farms “have resorted to using sentinel ASF antibody test kits from Taiwan, but these can only be used 14 days after the start of infection, if the pig has not died yet.” He noted that the outbreaks continue to happen, with recent reports in Tarlac and Laguna, two key pig producing provinces in Luzon.
Tight supply pushes up live pig prices in the Philippines
21 May 2020 – Live prices of pigs in the Philippines are up on tight supply. In Luzon, farm price currently hovers between USD 2.40-2.80/kg this week, while in the Visayas and Mindanao, they range between USD 2.00-2.40/kg. These are up by around 20% and 10%, respectively, from three weeks ago. An industry stakeholder told Asian Agribiz that the market is starting to feel the effects of lower supplies due to ASF. While the government has assured there is enough supply of pork meat in the country, some markets have reported lower pork availability.
Arunachal Pradesh requests funds to carry out pig culling
21 May 2020 – Arunachal Pradesh state has sought financial assistance from the Indian Central Government to carry out the first phase of pig culling due to ASF. The initial phase would cull close to 4500 ASF infected pigs from the districts of East Siang and Papum Pare. The state requested about USD 2.1 million for this task. The ASF outbreak Arunachal Pradesh in April has claimed about 2250 pigs and wild boars. The state government is expected to request more assistance in subsequent phases.
Pigs prices in Bangli rebound due to low supply
20 May 2020 – Prices of live pigs in Bangli, Bali have risen sharply. As of May 12, the prices increased to USD 1.55-1.69/kg from USD 1.01 a week earlier. Sang Putu Adi, Chairman of Bali Pig Farmers Association in Bangli, said the price hike is due to low supply caused by ASF amid increasing demand. ASF continues to affect the area, however, so he said he hopes a vaccine will soon be developed. “If there are no pigs, it will threaten the continuity of tradition in Bali,” he noted.
URC reports a 9% decline in agro-industrial sales
20 May 2020 – Universal Robina Corp (URC) said sales of its agro-industrial business fell by 9% in Q1 2020. The company attributed the drop to low selling prices of hogs and previously announced restructuring. Hog prices remained low during the period because of lingering worries about ASF, which continue to affect the country. The company also announced it will reduce its capex budget this year by roughly USD 50-60 million, said URC President and CEO Irwin Lee, adding that the company has reviewed its plans, “looked at what can be deferred, what can be saved, prioritizing the most critical ones.”
Record high piglet prices in Vietnam
19 May 2020 – Piglet price in Vietnam has reached an unprecedented high of USD 128/piglet (10kg), double that of last year. According to Nguyen Huu Tinh, Vice Director of the National Institute of Animal Husbandry, breeding farms stopped production since the onset of ASF, leading to a shortage of piglets. “But in September 2019, when the epidemic subsided, breeders resumed production, with piglets available in early 2020, at a modest level,” he explained. Mr Tinh estimates that by yearend, the supply of piglets should reach a normal level.
India reports ASF in Arunachal Pradesh
18 May 2020 – ASF has spread to India’s Arunachal Pradesh state. ICAR- National Research Centre on Pig, Acting Director Swaraj Rajkhowa told Asian Agribiz that the virus may have spread from neighboring Assam, the first state to report cases. Dr Rajkhowa stressed that the spread thus far seems to be limited to ‘certain pockets’.
“There might be some cross-border contamination but we also see that cases have not spread as fast as we expected,” explained Dr Rajkhowa. He said that of Assam’s 33 districts, only eight have recorded cases. He noted that early intervention and strict biosecurity protocols may have contained the spread.
Strict control measures and biosecurity protocols seem to be helping,” he said. To date, ASF has killed close to 3000 pigs in the country.
Thus far, the government has instructed all farmers to cull infected pigs. It also banned the movement of humans and vehicular traffic within 1km of the epicenter. A 10-km radius from the epicenter has been marked as a surveillance zone, where pigs will be tested for ASF.
For now, the main challenge has been the lack of adequate testing facilities. Since this is the first time ASF has hit India, only The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases of ICAR in Bhopal is equipped to test for the virus.
“We are in discussion to see whether local laboratories who have the right facilities can also be accredited to conduct tests,” said Dr Rajkhowa.
In the meantime, the State governments are working with the Central Government to compensate farmers who have lost their herds due to the virus.
Concentration, contact time key to effective disinfectant use
15 May 2020 – The correct concentration and the length of time a disinfectant is in contact with a surface will better determine its effectivity against ASF and other pathogens. Pariwat Poolperm, a swine consultant from Thailand said at a webinar titled Biosecurity: The First Step to Success in Pig Farming that for disinfectants to work against ASF, they must be in contact with surfaces for at least 15-20 minutes. Dr Pariwat also said that not all disinfectants are the same. Pig producers should follow the recommended concentrations for each disinfectant and not overconcentrate or overdilute.
ASF remains a big problem in Asia
14 May 2020 – While the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects have overshadowed ASF in the news, the deadly pig virus continues to be a big problem for Asian pig producers. China and Vietnam are both working on recovery programs, but threats of ASF reinfection and the lack of breeding pigs hamper restocking efforts. Both countries have seen a spike in the number of cases in the last two weeks. In the Philippines, industry observers note that while fewer cases are being reported, a big reason for this is the movement restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. “The virus remains, and it will take some time before it can be eradicated, if at all,” an industry practitioner told Asian Agribiz. “It is imperative the governments and local pig industries collaborate not just to control ASF spread, but also how to rebuild their industries. Pork will continue to be the preferred meat at least in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Philippines reports new ASF outbreaks
13 May 2020 – The Philippines has 58 new ASF outbreaks in Luzon, the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported to the World Organization for Animal Health. The country culled another 11,074 pigs, bringing the total as of May 4 to 282,899. The outbreaks were traced to illegal transport of animals and swill feeding. An industry practitioner told Asian Agribiz that while the country continues its fight against ASF, the government and industry players must begin rebuilding efforts. Unfortunately, he said, nothing concrete has been made, adding that even the country does not have enough ASF test kits.
US pork exports to China are up 250% in March
12 May 2020 – Despite lockdowns lasting through Q1 2020, China’s ASF-driven pork deficit continues to push up its pork imports. The Asian giant took in 95,892 tons of US pork valued at USD 226.3 million in March, up 250% and 338%, respectively from a year ago, a report by the US Meat Export Federation said. China’s reported total Q1 pork imports are up 118% to nearly 1.2 mt. The EU remains the primary supplier with a 61% market share, and the US accounting for 23%. Although China is working to rebuild its pig herd, industry observers agree that its pork imports will continue to rise this year.
Model shows culling, carcass removal key to ASF control
12 May 2020 – Early culling and immediate carcass removal are critical to contain and eradicate ASF, a model developed by a team of UK and Spain researchers suggest. The group from Heriot-Watt University led by Professor Andy White worked with Spain’s SaBio to understand at the different ways ASF could be transmitted. “Our new model also considered biosecurity measures that can help mitigate the spread of an outbreak. A combination of culling and the removal of infected carcasses is the most effective way to eradicate the virus without also eradicating the host population,” he said, adding that “early implementation of these measures will reduce infection levels while maintaining a higher host population density.”
Vietnam fears the second round of ASF outbreak
11 May 2020 – In early April, The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (MARD) announced 99% of affected localities have ended ASF. However, since the end of April and the beginning of May, the ASF has reappeared. The disease was found in 47 communes, including 25 new communes and 22 communes that were ‘free-of ASF’. In this recurrence, 12,037 pigs were culled. MARD has just sent a document to localities, saying it is necessary to strictly control the outbreaks that are happening so as not to spread on a larger scale.
Pig deaths in Sipora Island allegedly due to ASF
11 May 2020 – Thousands of pigs were found dead recently in Sipora Island of Mentawai Archipelago, Indonesia. The regency’s Food Security and Agriculture Agency said the number reached around 7500 heads. Hatisama Hura, the agency’s Head said they suspect the deaths were due to ASF. “We have asked people on the island to stop sending pigs and pork to other islands. We also injected vitamins to the surviving pigs,” he said.
North Sumatra must find new location for pig repopulation
8 May 2020 – The government in North Sumatra, Indonesia has to find a new location for pig repopulation efforts in the province since Nias Island is no longer free from ASF. In January, the government announced that the island would be the center for pig restocking after ASF killed more than 50,000 pigs in the province. However, in early May the Medan Veterinary Center confirmed that the deaths of 37,000 pigs in Nias and South Nias regencies was due to ASF.
ASF virus in South Korea seems to originate from Russia and China
8 May 2020 – The ASF virus that hit South Korea in the past six months appears to have originated from Russia and China, a report by Yonhap said. Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Research said the virus genotype found in wild boars is the same as the one prevalent in Russia and China. While the genotype of the ASF virus in North Korea is still to be known, the country reported its first ASF infections near its border with China. As such, North Korea may likely have played an intermediary role in spreading ASF to South Korea. Most of the early ASF infections in South Korea were reported from its border regions with North Korea.
Functional feed to boost immunity against ASF
7 May 2020 – Boosting pig’s immune system with better nutrition is important in preventing ASF, according to Sudarno Wiryasentika, Business Development Manager of Cargill Indonesia. “Since there is no vaccine for ASF, better biosecurity and nutrition is the only way to prevent the disease,” he told Asian Agribiz. Cargill has produced a functional feed which contains essential oils to avoid secondary infections, acidifiers to optimize antibacterial properties, and certain amino acids to boost immunity. He claimed this functional feed can help increase pig’s survival rate.
ASF dilemma in Bali
7 May 2020 – The number of suspected pig deaths from ASF has reached around 50,000 heads, the Bali Pig Farmers Association said. The impact on live pig prices is severe. The price of live pigs on April 18 at farms that remain ASF-free was USD 0.65-1.05/kg, way below the average production cost of USD 1.64. “Some slaughtermen now prefer to buy sick pigs because they know the disease is not zoonotic. That is why the price of healthy pigs is low,” Chairman I Ketut Hari Suyasa told Asian Agribiz.
But while the virus is the suspected culprit, Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry is yet to officially declare the cause as ASF. “The ministry has some considerations,” said Mr Suyasa. “If Bali is declared ASF-positive, distribution of pigs will be limited. This will impact farms that are still free of the disease. The ministry also has insufficient funds to compensate for culled pigs at infected farms.” He added that “because of Covid-19, their focus on ASF is weak. Their funds are also for the pandemic.”
ASF reaches India
6 May 2020 – India has detected its first ASF outbreak in the northeast state of Assam.
Since February, over 2800 pigs had gradually died of a ‘mysterious virus’. In late April, samples from these pigs were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal. The NIHSAD has officially confirmed that the virus is ASF.
The Ministry of Animal Husbandry said it would be banning inter-district pig transport. In its containment plan, Assam has decided it would not cull the infected pigs but has ‘implemented biosecurity measures’ in line with the lockdown.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the Veterinary and Forest Departments to work with the National Pig Research Centre of Indian Council of Agricultural Research to draw a broad roadmap to save the state’s pig population from ASF.
Mr Sonowal also directed the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department to undertake ‘threat-mapping’ and implement containment measures across the state. He also asked for a tally of the total number of entrepreneurs engaged in the piggery sector and their financial liability. This will allow the government to take pragmatic steps towards a bailout package.
ASF has killed 37,000 pigs in Nias Island
6 May 2020 – The Medan Veterinary Center has confirmed that the deaths of 37,000 pigs in Nias and South Nias regencies in Indonesia’s North Sumatra were due to ASF. Head of the Center Agustia said his team has sent the test results to the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health, adding that the virus can spread to the rest of Nias Island if preventative measures are not taken. “We have advised other areas, especially North and West Nias, which have not yet been infected, to remain cautious since this virus spreads quickly,” he said.
Mavin targets pig production expansion of 15-20%
6 May 2020 – With ASF still endemic in Vietnam, the pressure is now on companies that have successfully protected their herd to raise production. David John Whitehead, Chairman of Mavin Group told Asian Agribiz that Mavin has successfully protected its sow herd of 30,000 head, offering it the momentum for expansion this year. “We will put a lot of effort into developing and farming pigs that are strong and healthy and have high immunity against diseases such as ASF. “We intend to grow our swine stock by 15-20% this year,” he said.
Cebu City, Southern Leyte open markets to Mindanao pork
5 May 2020 – Cebu City and Southern Leyte province have lifted their ban on pork from ASF-free areas in Mindanao. The pork will come from Davao, General Santos, and Cagayan de Oro, which assured the Department of Agriculture that they have a surplus of 1700 tons of frozen pork ready to be shipped. Rolando Tambago, President of the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative, told Asian Agribiz that Cebu province “has more than enough supply of pork,” but local producers have no problem with pork from Mindanao as long as each shipment are certified ASF-free by the Bureau of Animal Industry.
ASF prompts drop in Indonesian pig feed production
4 May 2020 – Dwindling herds after tens of thousands of pigs were lost to ASF outbreaks in Indonesia have caused pig feedmillers to reduce production. Cargill, for instance, has cut its monthly output from 1500-2000 tons previously to less than 1000 tons now. In North Sumatra, the first province to be hit by the disease, “our feed production has dropped by almost half, to 400 tons/month,” Business Development Manager Sudarno Wiryasentika told Asian Agribiz.
Mavin targets expansion of 15-20% hog production
4 May 2020 – With ASF still hampering restocking efforts in Vietnam, the pressure to rebuild the industry is on companies that have successfully protected their herd. David John Whitehead, Chairman of Mavin Group told Asian Agribiz that the company has successfully protected its sow herd of 30,000 head. This creates momentum for its expansion plan this year. “We will put much effort into developing and farming pigs that are strong and healthy, and have a high immunity against diseases such as ASF,” he said. “We intend to grow our swine stock by 15-20% this year.”
Vietnam projected to import 12,000 breeding pigs in 2020
30 April 2020 – Vietnam will import 12,000 GGP and 20,000 PS sows this year, the Department of Livestock Production (DLP) said. DLP Acting Director Nguyen Xuan Duong said that the breeders will replace the imported breeding pigs from 2016 and offset the reduction of sows due to ASF. At the end of April 2019, there was 3016 GGP imported.
Move meat from Vismin to Luzon
30 April 2020 – Pork producers in Visayas and Mindanao are asking the Department of Agriculture to bring their excess pork to Luzon to boost pork supply. The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) said that pork from VisMin can help fill the supply shortage in Luzon, which has been badly hit by ASF. Many pork producers in Vismin currently have their stocks in cold storage after markets closed due to community quarantines. Sinag said these supplies can be brought to Luzon to fill the requirements of supermarkets. Meanwhile, Luzon-produced pork can be supplied to local wet markets.
New Hope imports 1200 breeding pigs from Canada
29 April 2020 – New Hope Thanh Hoa Service and Breeding Co Ltd (New Hope), has introduced 126 boars and 1082 GGP and GP sows from Canada at its breeding farm in Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam. This is the first batch of breeding pigs introduced to its breeding facility. The breeding farm in Thanh Hoa costing USD 67 million, has a designed capacity of 19,500 sows, producing about 500,000 piglets per year. New Hope Thanh Hoa plans to start selling piglets in December 2020 to fulfill deamnd for breeding pigs locally.
ASF continues to depress feed demand in Vietnam
28 April 2020 – Vietnam’s pig industry has not been able to recover from ASF. According to the USDA’s FAS report, ASF caused a drop of 20% in the pig population and nearly 10% of feed demand in the country in 2019. The report forecasts a further decline in pork production of 5-6% this year will flatten feed use in the country. Cargill’s Vietnam Country President Luan Nguyen told S&P Global Platts he does not expect a significant uplift in animal population in 2020 as ASF is still impacting the industry.
ASF continues to pressure key Asian markets
27 April 2020 – While Covid-19 is affecting pork supply chains and demand around the world, ASF continues to be the main concern of pig producers in Asia, Rabobank said in its Pork Quarterly Q2 2020 report.
China, which is working to rebuild its pig herd, has recently reported a growing number of ASF cases, blamed mainly on illegal transport of pigs. Rabobank said the increase following “a return to the free flow movements of livestock products and people following the lockdowns.” This prompted the government to require stricter inspections on pork trade. Large companies are leading the rebuilding of the country’s pig herd, but smaller players are still cautious. Given the continued challenges posed by ASF, Rabobank forecasts that China’s pork production will decline by 15-20% in 2020. As pork demand has recovered, pork imports will help fill the supply gap and is seen to rise between 3.5-4 mt for the year.
Vietnam’s pork production is forecast to fall by 21-25% this year, Rabobank said. Herd rebuilding is currently being done by predominantly by integrated and more biosecure farms. Smaller farms, which account for half the country’s hog production, are having trouble getting piglets and are constrained by higher production cost. This is further aggravated by high investment costs to improve biosecurity. Rabobank maintains that Vietnam’s pork output this year will range between 1.8-1.9 mt.
ASF continues to spread in the Philippines, especially among backyard raisers in Luzon and Mindanao. Official reports to the World Organization for Animal Health showing it has lost about 293,000 heads or 2.3% of its pig herd to date. Rabobank notes that actual figures could be much higher. It sees live hog prices to continue seeing near-term liquidation pressure but may see a rebound in the second half of 2020. Pork production is expected to fall 9% year-on-year to 1.44 mt.
South Korea bans entry of cars to border pig farms
24 April 2020 – South Korea will ban the entry of all cars into pig farms in its border areas with North Korea, a report by Yonhap said. The measure, to take effect in May, is meant to prevent the spread of ASF, which the government believes has contaminated the entire border area. Since October 2019, at least 545 ASF cases have been reported in wild boars caught or found dead in border areas. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the measure will affect nearly 400 farms Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces.
IFC considers USD 150m loan for Chinese pig integrator
24 April 2020 – The International Finance Corp (IFC) is considering a USD 150-million loan to Chinese pig integrator Muyuan Foods Co Ltd. The loan, if approved, would support the construction of 10 new pig farming facilities in Anhui, Henan, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Shanxi provinces. IFC published its ‘Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts of the project’ for public review on April 21. The project is expected to increase Muyuan’s total production capacity by 1.6 million pigs/year. It is part of IFC Agribusiness’s ASF Regional Recovery Program to help restore pork supply and normalize food costs for consumers.
DA assures enough pork supply
23 April 2020 – Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar assured Filipinos of enough meat supply for the year. “Contrary to recent projections painting a deficit scenario of the country’s meat sector, we are pleased to report that we have a favorable outlook despite difficulties encountered last year, especially for pork, due to ASF,” Mr Dar said. He added that there is currently an oversupply of pork, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Chester Warren Tan, President of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc, told Asian Agribiz that in Region 12, the biggest pig producing region in Mindanao, a lot of pork from the region are in cold storage. “While we can’t dispose of the pork yet, we are keeping them in cold storage. We were able to send some to Luzon prior to the lockdown. But since March 16, there has been no shipment.”
Vietnam’s hog price escalates due to shortage
23 April 2020 – The price of live hog this week is the highest at USD 3.9/kg since ASF first hit Vietnam. In wet markets, fresh warm pork is priced at USD 5.5/kg. Pig dealers shared with Asian Agribiz that this price is expected to further increase due to limited supply of live hogs. Farm restocking is still slow in the entire country as farmers are facing challenges finances, the lack of an ASF vaccine, and a shortage of breeding pigs.
China’s pork output falls for 6th straight quarter
22 April 2020 – ASF continues to plague China’s pig production sector, slashing its pork production by 29% year-on-year in Q1 2020. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s pork output dropped to 10.38 mt during the period. This is slightly below the 10.74 mt reported in Q4 2019, and the sixth consecutive quarter that the country’s production fell. It slaughtered 131 million hogs in Q1 2020, down 30% from the year before. Many industry analysts say that the country’s pig and pork production will continue to decline this year.
China’s March pork imports a record high
21 April 2020 – China’s pork imports reached a monthly record of 391,000 tons, 207% higher year-on-year, a report by Reuters said. This brings the country’s Q1 imports to 951,000, nearly double that from the same period in 2019. China, which lost at least 40% of its pig herd to ASF, is still battling the disease. Industry analysts agree that its pork imports will continue to rise this year to fill the expected supply gap.
China approves eight Spanish meat plants for export
21 April 2020 – China has approved eight new companies from Spain to export pork and pork products to the mainland. Since last year, Spain has been the leading exporter of pork there, leading Germany, Brazil, the US, and Denmark. Pig meat and offal accounted for over 55% of Spain’s export to China, up from 35.5% in 2018. According to Spanish trade statistics, the value of Spain’s pork exports to China topped USD 1.2 billion, double that of 2018.
ASF recurs in Ban Kan province
20 April 2020 – Bac Kan province in Vietnam has confirmed 47 pigs from four household farms have died since early April due to ASF. According to the provincial Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, due to the high price of pork, some households have tried to restock without proper biosecurity measures in place. The risk of new outbreaks is thus very high. Bac Kan province announced that it was free from ASF in February after it first hit the province in March 2019, killing more than 27,000 pigs.
Philippine pork supply enough at least until Q3
17 April 2020 – The quarantine measures being enforced in Luzon to minimize the spread of Covid-19 has eased pressure on pork demand, Dante Palabrica, President of Philippine Pork Incorporators Guild Inc told Asian Agribiz. “Pork consumption has been affected by hotel and restaurant closures, limited operations of markets, and [chicken] flooding the markets. More people are buying canned goods. So, our current pork supply is good until Q3,” he said. Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the quarantine also helped control ASF spread because unscrupulous traders cannot buy and sell sick pigs.
Lack of breeders slows down restocking in Vietnam
16 April 2020 – Although the price of pork is high, farmers still cannot take restock because of lack of breeding pigs. According to The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the sow herd decreased by 35-45% in 2019, when ASF was at its peak. Currently, the number of sows in the entire country is 2.7 million heads. These pigs belong to hog production companies or large-scale farms who have been unaffected by ASF. The price of piglets has doubled to USD 106-127/pig compared to the pre-ASF period.
Philippine pork imports seen up 26% in 2020 – USDA
16 April 2020 – The USDA forecasts a 26% rise in Philippine pork imports for 2020, as local production falls due to ASF. In its latest Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade Report, it sees pork imports at 280,000 tons this year. Meanwhile, local production and consumption are expected to decline by 9% and 4% to 1.45 mt and 1.7 mt, respectively. However, the agency said that Covid-19 adds uncertainty and is expected to disrupt trade. Jess Cham, President of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, agreed telling Asian Agribiz that the economy and consumption will be negatively affected.
USDA sees global pork production down 7% in 2020
15 April 2020 – The USDA sees global pork production to reach 94 mt, down 7% year-on-year. In its latest Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report, it said this is due to reduced output in China, Vietnam and the Philippines, which continue to struggle with ASF. China’s output this year will reach 34 mt, Vietnam 2.2 mt, and the Philippines 1.5 mt. These volumes are down 20%, 5%, 9%, respectively. The agency sees higher output by the US, Brazil, and the EU as strong export demand encouraged exporting countries to expand their herd
ASF remains the dominant factor in global pork trade
14 April 2020 – ASF continues to be the dominant force in global pork trade, which is seen to rise this year. In its latest Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report, the USDA forecast global pork exports in 2020 to rise 12% year-on-year to 10.5 mt. About 3.9 mt (40%) will be accounted for by China’s imports. However, import forecasts for other countries have been mostly reduced. Weak economic performance and the impact of Covid-19 on foodservice demand will likely reduce demand for pork.
ASF in wild boars continue to hound South Korea
13 April 2020 – South Korea reported that another six wild boars found dead near the border with North Korea tested positive for ASF. The boars were found in the counties of Hwacheon and Yeoncheon, near the central section of the heavily fortified border. Last year, the country mobilized soldiers and civilians to hunt wild boars near the borders to help contain ASF spread. Since it confirmed its first outbreak in September 2019, South Korea has slaughtered over 153,000 pigs. It has not reported ASF in domestic pigs since October 2019.
ASF to change production landscape
10 April 2020 – The pig production landscape in the Philippines is likely to change permanently due to ASF. As the virus continues to spread, more backyard farmers are stopping production, many permanently. In turn, commercial producers will pick up the slack, several industry observers told Asian Agribiz. While many players are still concerned about rebuilding their herd due to reinfection, there are farms, even those with some operation hit by ASF, that continue to build up their herd. One industry player told Asian Agribiz that once farms are ready to restock, his company is ready to supply demand.
80% of Vietnamese farmers exit pig sector due to ASF
9 April 2020 – According to a report by the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam (IPS), 80% of pig households have abandoned their farms due to ASF. The IPS also said 84% of these farms are not able to comply with the EU standards on biosecurity. IPS estimates that due to the loss of these hog producers, domestic pork supply this year will decrease by 35% compared to 2019, and shortage of supply will lead to a price increase of 22-45% in the future.
Ensuring ASF-free spray-dried plasma
8 April 2020 – Spray-dried plasma is an essential health management tool for the swine industry. Research shows that its use in piglet diets reduces mortality, increases gain, and improves feed intake. But as ASF rages, some pig producers have expressed concerns about the safety of spray-dried plasma. Dr Louis Russell, President and CEO of APC, the world leader in manufacturing and sales of blood-derived functional plasma proteins and red blood cell products, answers questions on plasma biosafety and how the company guarantees the safety and effectiveness of its products. Click here to learn more.
Singapore doubles live pig import from Riau Islands
7 April 2020 – A company in Riau Islands said live pig exports to Singapore doubled after Malaysia’s movement restriction order was imposed. The Tanjung Pinang Agricultural Quarantine Office said Indonesia’s PT Indotirta Suaka had exported up to 1600 live pigs daily, from 700 – 900/day previously. “Prior to this, the demand for live pigs was fulfilled by companies in Malaysia and Indonesia. Now, demand has shifted to Indonesia,” said Donni Muksidayan, Head of Quarantine Office.
Prisma empowers small-scale pig farmers in East Nusa Tenggara
7 April 2020 – Prisma, a cooperation between Australia and Indonesia, has contributed to the development of the pig sector in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia in the last five years. From 2013 to 2018, Prisma helped raise the income of 400,000 smallholders in the agriculture sector in the province. From 2019 to 2023, it targets a minimum 30% increase in net income of 700,000 smallholders there. Ferdinandus Rondong, Prisma’s Principal Business Consultant said smallholders involved in the pig sector contributed to the success in the first phase.
4000 breeders arrive in China
6 April 2020 – China has welcomed 4000 high-quality breeding pigs from France to date as it works to rebuild its pig herd. The country’s sow herd is now down by as much as 60% due to ASF. Axiom sent 3400 breeding animals as of March. Marie Pushparajalingam, Axiom’s global strategist, said the company has deals for another six planeloads this year, and it expects additional business. Meanwhile, 500 boars from Topigs Norsvin arrived from France in southwestern Guizhou in late March. The animals will be used by China’s Dekang Group in a nucleus farm to produce 20 million pigs for slaughter.
China approves 450 pork companies for import
6 April 2020 – China continues to turn to the global market to boost its pork inventory. This year, China’s General Administration of Customs has approved 997 new meat companies, including 450 pork companies, to supply the country. From January to February, the country imported 720,000 tons of pork and pork variety meats, up 98% year-on-year. Import volume will continue to rise this year, as the country struggles to rebuild its pork industry. Earlier, Rabobank said China’s pork output decreased by 20% in 2019 and will fall another 20% in 2020.
New ASF cases in China
3 April 2020 – ASF continues to spread in China. In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health on April 1, the country confirmed a new case in Sichuan province. Of the 83 susceptible animals, one died. The case has been traced to the illegal movement of animals. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that China’s Ministry of Agriculture confirmed two more outbreaks in Gansu province. The first occurred in a cooperative that bought piglets from another province. Another was detected in a truck that was transporting piglets from somewhere else.
Indonesia’s pig association wants special farming regions
3 April 2020 – Chairman of the Indonesian Monogastric Association, Sauland Sinaga has urged the government to identify special regions for pig farming. In many cases, pig farmers are pushed out by housing developers, even though they were there first. Eventually, pig farmers must relocate or even end up closing their business. “With specially allocated pig farming areas and supportive policies, pig farmers will feel safe to operate and expand their business,” Dr Sinaga told Asian Agribiz.
ASF, Covid-19 hit pork demand in Indonesia
2 April 2020 – Pork demand in Indonesia is on a downtrend due to ASF and Covid-19 outbreaks. “ASF alone led to half of the country’s pig farmers to close their business. Covid-19 increased that figure to 75%,” Sauland Sinaga, Chairman of the Indonesian Monogastric Association told Asian Agribiz. Social distancing and work from home have disrupted operations of many restaurants, hotels and food caterers. “North Sumatra and Bali are tourist destinations. Due to Covid-19, tourist arrivals are down, and horeca businesses have reduced their demand for pork,” said Dr Sinaga.
Clinical signs on dead pigs in Jembrana point to ASF
2 April 2020 – The Quick Reaction Team in Jembrana, Bali reported the deaths of 272 pigs in the regency as of March 30. Wayan Widarsa, Head of Animal Health at Jembrana’s Livestock Agency said the clinical signs observed by its team on 14 dead pigs point to ASF. Most of the dead pigs came from backyard farms. Meanwhile, the agency continues to educate farmers to improve farm biosecurity and sanitation. Farmers who use leftover food from hotels and restaurants are also asked to boil it before feeding it to their animals.
ASF kills 2k pigs in Kupang regency
2 April 2020 – ASF has killed 2145 pigs in Kupang regency of East Nusa Tenggara as of March 10, the regency’s Livestock Agency reported. The dead pigs were found in 13 sub-districts. Deny Tadoe, Head of Livestock Production at the agency said that to control the disease spread, they have put inspection teams in four of the regency’s livestock entry points. Although pig deaths are still rising, the agency allows farmers to repopulate. “But we ask them to quickly report if their pigs are falling sick or dying,” said Mr Tadoe.
ASF continues to spread in Luzon
1 April 2020 – The Philippines reported 69 new outbreaks in Luzon island, with nearly 42,000 more animals culled. The Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry blamed illegal movement of animals and swill feeding for the new outbreaks. Since the confirmation of the first ASF outbreak in September 2019, total cases have risen to nearly 4000, with over 250,000 pigs culled so far. Meanwhile, several industry practitioners told Asian Agribiz that the numbers are likely to be higher because they do not include pigs culled by commercial farms.
Papua New Guinea confirms ASF
1 April 2020 – Papua New Guinea has confirmed that 300 pigs from the Southern Highlands died from ASF. Government officials are now investigating what caused the outbreak, including the possibility that it may have come in through imported canned products. Australian authorities and pig producers are on high alert as ASF moves a step closer to their border. In a report from ABC News, Australian Pork Ltd CEO Margo Andrae said that ASF would devastate the industry and the 35,000 people it employs. The economic impact of an ASF outbreak in Australia is estimated to run over USD 1.2 billion.
China reports new ASF cases on piglets in Inner Mongolia
31 March 2020 – China has reported a new outbreak of ASF on piglets smuggled into Inner Mongolia. A report by Reuters said ASF was detected in a herd of 200 piglets in a farm in Ordos City, with 92 of animals killed. In an earlier story, Reuters said an official from China’s Ministry of Agriculture noted an increased risk of ASF in the country this year as China seeks to increase its pig production.
Thailand sets aside USD 17 million for ASF control measures
31 March 2020 – The Thai cabinet has allocated USD 17 million to beef-up measures to prevent ASF along 27 provinces bordering Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Up to 71% of the budget will be used in compensating farmers who have to sacrifice their pigs to strengthen biosecurity along the borders. Apart from this, 19% of the budget will be used to buy testing equipment. The remaining 8% will be spent on surveillance, including increasing livestock patrol officers in the high-risk areas.
ASF will continue to dampen Philippine demand for feed wheat
30 March 2020 – Philippine imports of feed wheat are expected to fall in marketing year 2020/21 due to the continued spread of ASF in the country. According to the USDA, the country’s total wheat imports will decline due to lower hog feed demand as farmers stop or reduce production due to ASF. Feed wheat is used more by pig farmers than poultry farmers, who prefer to use corn in their birds’ rations. While previously considered a corn substitute, the USDA said feed wheat is now an integral part of hog feed rations. However, concerns regarding are ASF will pull down feed wheat consumption in the Philippines by 250,000 tons to 3 mt in MY 20/21.
China auctions 20,000 tons of pork
30 March 2020 – As ASF continues to impact China’s pork supply, China said it would auction 20,000 tons of frozen pork from its pork reserves on March 27, a report by Reuters said. The amount was in addition to the 230,000 tons Beijing has released so far in 2020 and the 130,000 tons released in December. China’s pig herd is down nearly 50% since it first reported the disease in August 2018. Analysts note that China’s pork production will remain down this year, which means its pork imports are expected to rise to help cover the shortfall.
Dong Nai Province declares itself ASF-free
27 March 2020 – Dong Nai province, the largest pig production area in Vietnam, announced it is free of the ASF virus on March 25. The provincial government said all 137 infected areas in the province have had no new cases ASF in the last 30 days. ASF first broke out in Dong Nai in April 2019. The disease has killed 450,000-700,000 pigs out of 2.5 million pigs. Despite the news, industry players in the province told Asian Agribiz that pig restocking is still difficult as the reinfection rate remains high.
ASF puts a shadow on the recovery of Vietnam’s pig industry
26 March 2020 – Despite encouragement from the government and the farmers’ efforts to restock, ASF remains the biggest challenge to the successful recovery of Vietnam’s pig industry. “If there is no vaccine, farmers are not confident enough to restock,” Phan Van Danh, Director of Xuan Phu Pig Cooperative told Asian Agribiz. “The risk of reinfection is too high. Pig restocking is almost impossible at the moment,” Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of Dong Nai Livestock Production Association also told Asian Agribiz. With the difficulty faced in rebuilding the herd, pork prices remain high at about USD 3.3/kg due to supply shorta
USDA sees Philippine pork production down 10% in 2020
25 March 2020 – The USDA projects Philippine pork production to fall by 10% in 2020 due to ASF. It also noted that local industry experts expect 30% of the country’s herd may be affected by the disease. As such, the USDA-FAS sees imports will rise this year to cover the expected supply shortfall. However, Philippine meat importers are worried about the current global situation with Covid-19 and high prices. “I suppose importers still be conservative in placing new orders,” Jess Cham, President of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, told Asian Agribiz.
Philippines develops ASF test kit
24 March 2020 – The Philippines has developed a test kit for ASF that would help the industry players with early diagnosis. The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said the test is a nanobiosensor developed by scientists from Central Luzon State University with funding from BAI. Director Ronnie Domingo said the test only cost only about 10% of the imported test kit. The nanobiosensor was field initially field-tested in Cebu. Some swine vets have questioned the choice since the province remains ASF-free. However, Asian Agribiz was told that BAI is also having samples from Luzon tested. The agency has allocated about USD 200,000 to reproduce the kits and train veterinarians to use them. However, due to the current Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon, the kit’s launch has been postponed.
Dead pig number in Tabanan due to suspected ASF reaches 4.8k
23 March 2020 – The number of dead pigs in Tabanan, Bali has reached 4804 heads as of March 18 due to suspected ASF. Head of Livestock at the regency’s Agriculture Agency, I Wayan Suamba said the deaths were found in five sub-districts, namely Kediri, Marga, Penebel, Tabanan and Selemadeg. To help the affected farmers to bury their dead pigs, Mr Suamba said the agency has requested funding assistance from the provincial government.
Pork shortage likely due to ASF, Covid-19
20 March 2020 – A pork shortage looms in the Philippines as ASF continues to spread, while Covid-19 negatively impacts meat importation. Jess Cham, President of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, told Asian Agribiz that “imports are under pressure due to higher prices abroad and delayed arrival due to shortage of containers. This is coupled with the uncertainties in the domestic market,” due to ASF. He added that “production facilities abroad may be quarantined or shut if [Covid-19] infections occur.” Data from the National Meat Inspection Service show that imported frozen pork inventory in the first week of March at 36,775 tons, down from 46,756 tons the previous week.
Mavin recalibrates feed output with ASF
20 December 2020 – By Ha Thu “ASF remains the biggest concern for the livestock industry this year,” David John Whitehead, Chairman of Mavin Group, told Asian Agribiz. He said Mavin has been affected in several ways, not least by a drop in pig feed demand of 20% last year. The company has dynamically diversified its feed categories to avoid the impact of ASF. “Previously, 70% of Mavin’s feed was for pigs and 30% for other animals,” CEO Dao Manh Luong told Asian Agribiz. “When ASF broke out, we restructured our product categories. Pig feed now accounts for only 30%; poultry and waterfowl account for 60%, and aquaculture accounts for 10%.”
Timor reports deaths of thousands of pigs
19 March 2020 – The government of South-Central Timor Regency in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara reported thousands of pig deaths resulting in a loss of USD 199,000. Danny Suhadi, Head of the province’s Livestock Agency could not confirm yet whether ASF was the cause. “We are waiting for lab test results that were sent to the Veterinary Research Agency in Medan, North Sumatra,” he told Asian Agribiz. Previously, the province confirmed the deaths of 700 pigs due to ASF in Belu regency.
South Korea has ASF under control but pig inventory to fall
18 March 2020 – Since October 2019, South Korea has kept ASF out of its domestic pig herd. In a report, the USDA noted that while the direct impact of ASF on total herd size was minimal, consumer concerns on pork safety and ASF, albeit some scientifically unjustifiable, have dampened pork demand. This, coupled with continued herd expansion, has pulled down pork prices. Farmers are now working to reduce the country’s sow inventory by August. The USDA said that regardless of the success of the sow reduction plan, low hog prices are expected to shrink the country’s total herd size in 2020.
China spends billions to help boost pork production
17 March 2020 – Between September 2019 and January 2020, the Chinese government spent over USD 2.44 billion to encourage its pork farmers to boost production. The government has been subsidizing farmers who have had their pigs culled due to ASF, giving them soft loans to restart production. In 2019 pork prices plunged 21.3% year-on-year as ASF decimated close to 50% of the pig herd in the country. In related news, China’s Agriculture Ministry announced last week that the new ASF cases detected in Sichuan province were pigs that were transported illegally from other provinces. A truck carrying 111 pigs from other provinces was found in Leshan, Sichuan province. Seven of the animals died.
West Manggarai govt asks pig farmers to use home-mixed feed
16 March 2020 – The government of West Manggarai in East Nusa Tenggara is urging pig farmers to produce their own feed to prevent ASF which was recently confirmed in the province. Head of Livestock and Animal Health Services Agency, Theresia Asmon said the agency is urging farmers to stop using leftovers from hotels and restaurants as swill feed. “They can do home mixing by using locally available ingredients such as banana stems, cassava, rice bran and taro leaves,” she added.
Thailand ships over 5000 pigs shipped to Cambodia daily
13 March 2020 – Live pig exports from Thailand to Cambodia have escalated again in March with over 5000 pigs being shipped across the border daily, said Dr Nopparat Bhavabhutanon, Managing Director of Inspired Nutrient Co, a major supplier of breeding stock. He told Asian Agribiz that Cambodian traders buy the pigs at the border at USD 74/kg. This has raised the pig price in Thailand by about USD 0.25/kg in two weeks since early March to USD 2.1/kg. Growing demand for live pigs in Cambodia reflects a severe shortage here and also in its neighboring Vietnam, which buys live pigs from Cambodia.
Swine vets call on Philippine government to address key concerns
12 March 2020 – The Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) has called on the government to address issues that hamper the country’s fight against ASF. In a position paper submitted to the Philippine Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Food, and provided to Asian Agribiz, PCSP specifically cited the following:
- Lack of harmonized and locally acceptable and implementable protocol in controlling the spread of ASF. Even with President Rodrigo Duterte ordering strict compliance with the National Zoning and Movement Plan, many local government units (LGU) continue to implement orders and measures that run counter to the plan. This leads to confusion among the various stakeholders.
- Lack of test kits and disease diagnostic lab facilities. To curb and contain ASF, early detection is crucial. Yet most of the animal disease diagnostic labs in the country have reached their critical limit, and there are not enough test kits to go around. Delay in detection increases the probability of spreading the virus.
- Indemnification and animal compensation issues. Both the Department of Agriculture and the LGUs seem to be satisfied with just providing compensation and alternative livelihood to affected farmers rather than tackling the problem head-on. Besides, the current system of paying roughly USD 100/pig, limited to 20 culled animals per farm, is very problematic. The government should implement a fair indemnification program to prevent farmer demoralization. This would also encourage them to report cases, which would help in curbing disease spread.
- ASF has become human-driven, thus the need to study, understand, and consider the socio-economic circumstances of various stakeholders in the pig and allied industries. The government should engage not just with hog raisers but also truckers and traders to work together to combat ASF. While enforcing punitive measures against regulation violators, the government should also enhance farmers’ and traders’ capacity to practice good biosecurity and good animal husbandry practices.
The PCSP also urged the government to undertake mandatory audits of slaughtering, meat cutting, and processing facilities. Likewise, there should be a standard operating manual and protocol to guide these establishments in case of a suspect or confirmed ASF case. Lastly, the group proposes the government to create a communication designed for specific audiences to educate them about the proper handling and disposal of meat/pork. PCSP President Zoilo Lapus told Asian Agribiz that ASF spread can be addressed properly, but only if there is a concerted and collective effort among all concerned.
Philippine ASF losses at USD 1.6b
11 March 2020 – The Philippine hog industry has lost nearly USD 1.6 billion to ASF since it was first confirmed in August 2019. At hearing in the House of Representatives, Arnulfo Frontuna, President of the Philippine Swine Industry Research and Development Foundation Inc, said the amount accounted for about 30% of the total industry. He also said the government estimate that less than 2% of the total hog population has been affected is “too small.” He added that if the country fails to control the situation, the figure could reach 60% by September.
New ASF cases in wild boars in China
11 March 2020 – China’s Ministry of Agriculture said that it has detected the ASF virus in seven wild boars in Hubei Province. The animals were found dead in the Shennongjia Forestry district in the northwestern part of the province in central China. Official data show that China has lost over 40% of its domestic pig herd to ASF, while several cases have been found in wild boar around the country.
La Union latest Philippine province to confirm ASF
10 March 2020 – La Union, a province in Northern Luzon, is the latest in the Philippines to confirm ASF after 30 pigs died from the virus in San Fernando City. City officials immediately implemented precautionary measures to manage and control the spread of ASF. These include pre-emptive culling of hogs at ground zero and within a 1-km radius, mapping the barangays within the 7-kilometers radius, augmenting hygiene kits and also providing financial assistance to backyard hog raisers. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, in 2018, La Union’s hog production topped 17,000 tons.
South Korea reports five more cases of ASF in wild boars
10 March 2020 – South Korean environment authorities report that five more wild boars have died of ASF. The animals were found in border areas with North Korea. This raises the number of wild boar infections in the country to 325. South Korea confirmed its first outbreak in September 2019. But since October, there have been no reported cases on domestic pigs.
Pork shortage leads Vietnam to look to Russia
9 March 2020 – Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong met with Russia’s Miratorg Group last week to discuss the possibility of more pork imports from the latter. Mr Cuong said Vietnam is short of pork and beef and is looking for suppliers. The first consignment of Russian pork is expected to arrive in Vietnam next week. Viktor Linnik, President of Miratorg Group, said the Group currently supplies the global market 400,000 tons of pork annually. Miratorg’s pork is processed in facilities that are eligible to export.
Dead pigs left to rot at Bali farm
6 March 2020 – The Regional People’s Representative Assembly in Bali, Indonesia has asked the local government to revoke the permit of a farm that did not dispose of dead pigs. As many as 225 dead pigs at the Anugerah Bersama Sejahtera farm were left to rot and pollute the surrounding area. The pigs are suspected to have succumbed to ASF and the farm is said to have a capacity of 1500 pigs and 500 sows.
Donated food may be source of ASF in Batangas outbreak
5 March 2020 – Food donations received after Taal volcano erupted in January may have led to the ASF outbreak in Batangas Province. Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners, told Asian Agribiz that post-eruption, Taal victims received many food donations. Some of the food scraps were used as swill feed by backyard farmers in the province. Dr Lapus also lamented that the actions and policies by the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Animal Industry are not synchronized with local government units. This has made containment of the virus difficult.
Indonesia moves to control ASF in East Nusa Tenggara
5 March 2020 – Control measures are afoot following the ASF outbreak in Belu regency in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Director General of Livestock and Animal Health at the Ministry of Agriculture, I Ketut Diarmita said central and local agencies have been sent to investigate the case in eight areas of the province, take samples for lab tests, spray disinfectants, and assist farmers on farm biosecurity improvement. He admitted the province is a high-risk area for ASF due to its border with Timor-Leste.
East Nusa Tenggara confirms ASF infections
4 March 2020 – East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia has confirmed that deaths of 700 pigs in the Belu regency was due to ASF. Lab tests of samples sent to the Veterinary Research Agency in Medan, North Sumatra confirmed this. “The ASF virus is suspected to have come from Timor-Leste that was hit by the disease in August last year, although imports of live pigs and processed pork from Timor-Leste were banned from October last year,” Head of the province’s Livestock Agency, Danny Suhadi told Asian Agribiz.
China develops its own ASF vaccine
4 March 2020 – China announced that it has developed a vaccine that tested effective in fighting ASF. The vaccine was developed by the government-funded Harbin Veterinary Research Institute. Chinese media reports say that the live vaccine with reduced virulence was created from a series of gene-deleted viruses using the country’s first ASF strain as a backbone. “The vaccine is currently the most promising one for commercial production and will provide important technical means for the effective prevention and control of African swine fever in China and other related countries,” the Harbin institute said. Commercial production of the vaccine is yet to be announced. Earlier this year, the US announced that it had developed a vaccine that was 100% effective. Nonetheless, US experts have said it is still some years away from being available to farmers.
Batangas Province hit with ASF
4 March 2020 – Batangas Province, one of the largest hog producing provinces in the Philippines, is the latest to confirm the presence of ASF. The provincial government said that blood samples taken from pigs in Laurel town tested positive for the virus. There are about 500 backyard hog raisers in the affected area, with about 5000 heads within the 1-km radius set for culling. As of February 28, 900 pigs have already been culled. Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas has urged locals to report any abnormal swine deaths, illegal entry, and selling of live hogs, pork and pork products, and swill feeding.
ASF-hit Asian countries top destinations for EU pork in 2019
3 March 2020 – EU pork exports to key Asian markets rose in 2019, driven by a 78% growth in shipments to China. Exports to the mainland topped 2.4 mt, followed by Japan (456,740 t), South Korea (266,990 t), the Philippines (228,790) and Hong Kong (215,410 t). Of these, only Japan remains ASF-free. Spain was the leading exporter of pork and pork products, shipping over 1.18 mt to global markets, followed by Germany with nearly 1.1 mt. Frozen meat accounted for 2.7 mt of EU pork exports, followed by offal with 1.4 mt.
Central Java pig farmers seek movement control over ASF
2 March 2020 – With North Sumatra and Bali affected by ASF, pig farmers in Java want the government to strictly control, or stop if possible, the movement of live pigs, pork and pork products from the affected areas to and/or via Java. Rudy Wijaya, Public Relation Head of the Pig Farmers Cooperative of Central Java told Asian Agribiz: “We are on high alert and we have improved our farm biosecurity,” he said. The cooperative has 200 members with a total population of around 200,000 pigs and Greater Jakarta is their main live pig market.
ASF could pull down Vietnam’s pork production by 35% in 2020
2 March 2020 – ASF could pull down Vietnam’s pork production by as much as 35% this year. According to Vietnam’s Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), at current sow levels, pork production this year could reach 3.9 mt. However, if the sow herd contracted by 10% (approximately 590,000 heads), pork output would decrease by 20% to 3.1 mt. A 20% reduction in sow numbers would mean a 35% loss in production to 2.5 mt. IPSARD data show that pork production was 3.3 mt in 2019, down 13.8% from 2018.
Pork prices easing in China as supply chains open up
28 February 2020 – Pork prices in China eased up this week as the government gradually released its frozen reserves. It announced that 10,000 tons would be released to the Hubei Province as prices started to climb at the coronavirus epicenter. Between January and February 21, the government released 130,000 tons of pork from its frozen reserves to control prices. This helped improved the situation slightly as the average ex-factory price for white stripe pork in 16 provinces (including municipalities) was USD 7.22/kg, down 0.7% in a week, though up 212.2% year-on-year.
New rapid test for ASF introduced
27 February 2020 – US-based Silver Lake Research Corp has introduced PenCheck, a new rapid test for ASF. An independent study conducted at Kansas State University determined the accuracy of the test kit. Results from sensitivity tests showed that PenCheck correctly identified 21 out of 22 pigs with moderate to severe symptoms of ASF. Specificity tests showed that in 144 pigs with no prior symptoms, it correctly determined that 143 pigs did not carry the virus. The test kit is easy to use and takes only 20 minutes. Visit https://www.penchecktest.com for more information.
ASF likely cause of 6000 pigs deaths in Mentawai
27 February 2020 – The local government of Mentawai Archipelago in Indonesia’s West Sumatra has confirmed the deaths of around 6000 pigs since January, in nine villages. Vice Regent, Kortanius Sabeleake said the disease agent, which is suspected to be ASF virus, could have entered the regency through illegal pork brought by traders from different regencies before Christmas last year.
Japan increases penalties on meat smuggling to control ASF
27 February 2020 – The Japanese government further strengthened its security measures against ASF as it passed a bill this week to increase control over its ports of entry. Media reports say government authorities now have more power to screen passengers’ luggage. It also jacked up fines for those caught smuggling meat. Violators could face imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to USD 27,000. The fine is triple the present amount. Companies found violating the law would be fined up to USD 453,000, a fifty-fold increase. The bill will take effect by April 2020.
ASF-affected pig farmers in North Sumatra seek help to revive business
26 February 2020 – Pig deaths due to ASF in North Sumatra, Indonesia has reached 47,000 heads. As pig farming is their only income source, the affected pig farmers are seeking help from the local government to revive their business. Azhar Harahap, Head of the province’s Food Security and Livestock Agency told media they have asked for funding from the central government although there is no obligation for compensation due to ASF. Mr Harahap added they are also planning to help farmers raise other livestock as a way out.
Second ASF outbreak aggravates threat to Myanmar’s pig industry
26 February 2020 – Myanmar agriculture officials have detected ASF in Naung Mon village in Shan’s Lashio township. The outbreak killed 30 of 854 pigs. U Toe Min Tun, Deputy Director of the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department said this is the second time they have found the virus following the first detection in August 2019 in four townships in Shan,” he said. Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture said the disease may cause huge economic loss, so the government is taking steps to contain the disease.
Tyson Foods sees 600% increase in pork exports to China in Q1
25 February 2020 – The US’ Tyson Foods Inc is reaping the benefits of the ASF outbreak in China as it saw its pork orders up 600% in Q1 of its fiscal year 2020 that ended in December 2019. However, the company said this is still below its expected quarterly sales. Tyson CEO Noel White said that volume could still go up if China lifts or reduce the tariffs it has imposed on US pork. “If tariffs are lifted or reduced we would likely see an acceleration of already increased global demand for pork, beef, and chicken,” he said.
ASF genome mapped
25 February 2020 – Scientists from the Pirbright Institute announced that they have mapped the ASF virus, a step that could be instrumental to the development of a vaccine. Linda Dixon, Head of the ASFV Group at Pirbright, said their study helps to untangle which genes are important during different stages of infection to better understand their functions. Knowing the virus’ fundamental biology provides vital information that will help to advance research into much-needed disease control methods.
ASF could pave way for traceability program
24 February 2020 – The Philippines has seen pork demand go down due to misconceptions about ASF. Unfortunately, the country has no real traceability program established that will allow consumers to get information about the meat they buy. But some industry stakeholders say that the current situation might just be the tipping point. “It’s an opportunity for the industry to push for traceability as it should be a standard practice to protect both consumers and retailers,” Rolando Tambago, President of Virginia Farms Inc told Asian Agribiz.
Philippines sets up checkpoints for ASF in Mindanao
24 February 2020 – Philippine Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar has ordered the Bureau of Animal Industry and related agencies to put up 24×7 checkpoints at all entry points in Mindanao. These checkpoints will be equipped with disinfection facilities, including footbaths. He also ordered the “mandatory inspection of vessels docking in Mindanao ports with meat products from ASF-affected zones and countries.” The order includes a thorough inspection of the hand-carried luggage of all incoming travelers from ASF-affected zones. Authorities will confiscate and immediately destroy all pork products.
Vietnam’s pig production shows first signs of recovery
21 February 2020 – Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) confirmed that pig farms in many localities have been successfully restocked. Since the start of the year, these farms have been selling pigs in the market. Many local players told Asian Agribiz that “the peak of ASF has passed. Modern livestock operations with strict biosecurity have protected their pigs. Many large livestock enterprises have increased their capacity by 5-15%.” This year, the MARD estimated domestic supply of pork will reach 4 mt.
Proper biosecurity measures needed to repopulate
21 February 2020 – For farmers to restart or repopulate their farms after a bout with ASF, ensuring proper biosecurity is essential. Angel Manabat, Technical Services and Health Assurance Manager at Genus PIC, said farmers must determine if the area where repopulation will occur is safe from infection. They must also understand the weaknesses in their biosecurity protocols that may have provided ASF an entry to their previous operations. A complete biosecurity assessment is a must, he said, reiterating that “biosecurity is everybody’s responsibility.”
POSTPONED – Living with African Swine Fever
20 February 2020 – Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever – Blueprint for the Future’ (replacing the Pig Feed Quality Conference in 2020) scheduled to be held in Singapore on 22-23 April is postponed until the impact of coronavirus on travel becomes clearer. We believe the Asian pig industry needs to urgently address the challenge of African Swine Fever and we will proceed with the conference as soon as is practical. We thank you for your understanding during this very difficult period.
Philippine government agency runs out of ASF test kits
19 February 2020 – The Animal Welfare and Health Division (AWHD) of the Bureau of Animal Industry stopped receiving samples for ASF testing starting February 17 due to a lack of test kits. As such, the AWHD cannot issue ASF-free certifications until the new test kits arrive, expected within the next 1-2 months. Lamenting this development, an industry practitioner told Asian Agribiz said that without the test, farms will be unable to get the ASF-free certification they need to sell their animals and could lead to further spread of the virus.
Hastily developed ASF vaccines could backfire
19 February 2020 – With ASF wreaking havoc in Asia and Europe, the race is on to develop a vaccine against the virus. In a paper published in Science Journal, Dolores Gavier-Widén and her co-authors noted that current ASF vaccine development “shows some encouraging results,” with live attenuated vaccines seeming to show the most promise. But these require more testing and study. They warned that “the race to develop an ASF vaccine may overshadow comprehensive efficacy and safety testing, thus potentially investing in the wrong vaccine development strategy and in unnecessary use of animals for experiment.”
Central Luzon suffers most from ASF
18 February 2020 – Even as the Philippine government tries to assure that there is enough pork supply in the country, several industry players have told Asian Agribiz that losses in Central Luzon have been severe with about half the herd gone. The region, which at the start of 2019 accounted for over 16% of total pig population nationwide, could lose as much as 80-100% of its inventory, said one Central Luzon stakeholder. Many producers in the region have either lost their farms to the virus or have depopulated to cut losses.
Philippines has enough pork supply …
17 February 2020 – Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar said last week that the country still has enough supply of pork and pork products, despite the recent outbreak of ASF in Davao Occidental and unconfirmed reports of the virus in other areas in the region. Mr Dar said only 1.7% of the country’s total 12.7 million pigs is affected by the ASF, and of that only about 13% were actually infected.
…but could lose up to 46% of its total pig herd
17 February 2020 – The Philippines could lose as much as 46% of its total 12.7 million pigs to ASF if it fails to curb the virus spread nationwide. During the ASF Recovery and Repopulation Summit on Day 2 of the International Farmers Summit held in the Philippines last week, Dr Eugene Mende said about 50% of the backyard raisers and 30% of commercial raisers would be affected. “I don’t think you can ever be prepared enough for a virus as devastating as ASF, which until now has no working and effective vaccine,” he said, adding that the virus exposed a lot the biosecurity weaknesses in farms around the country.
The North Sumatra govt claims no funds to handle the ASF
14 February 2020 – Head of the Department of Food and Livestock, M Azhar Harahap claimed that the North Sumatra government did not have enough funds to handle the ASF outbreak that had killed more than 40,000 pigs in the region and cities in North Sumatra. “When this outbreak of ASF occurred, budgets in the regions and provinces were approved. As a result, there was no specific budget that could be directed towards tackling this epidemic,” he said. He revealed that they requested USD3 million from the central government. Even asking for support from the people’s representative council.
Over 178,000 pigs culled in the Philippines due to ASF
14 February 2020 – The Philippines have culled 178,159 pigs as of January 13, said Eugene Mende, President of the Philippine Veterinary Drug Association. Speaking during the plenary session of the International Farmers Summit 2020, Dr Mende noted that of the total, only 29,709, or 17%, were positive for ASF. With the confirmed outbreak in Davao Occidental, however, the number is will go up. Meanwhile, ASF’s impact in Luzon is starting to be felt, as industry stakeholders report that many farms, both backyards, and commercial, have either stopped production or are depopulating.
China pork prices skyrocket
14 February 2020 – Pork prices in China are up 116% year-on-year in January 2020 and are nearing last year’s record highs as the Covid-19 further reduce supplies for the country. Government restrictions to fight the virus have been hindering the transport of pigs to slaughterhouses. Also, a lockdown in many cities and regions means some facilities have no workers to operate them. This has worsened the supply shortage resulting from the ASF epidemic that shrunk China’s pig herd last year by half.
Farmers in North Sumatra protest pig culling
13 February 2020 – Thousands of farmers, culinary entrepreneurs, and supporters from North Sumatra have rallied to reject the local government’s plan to cull pigs to stem the ASF outbreak that has killed 46,000 pigs since September. The protesters feel the government should offer an appropriate compensation and free vaccines. But Head of the Department of Food and Livestock, M Azhar Harahap claimed that the government does not have enough funds to offer compensation. He said a request has been made for USD 3 million from the central government to help affected farmers.
Vietnam and US cooperate in producing ASF vaccine
13 February 2020 – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) are cooperating to support Vietnam on research to produce an ASF vaccine. At the meeting on February 10, the USDA transferred the ASF virus with a toxic gene removed to Vietnam. It also pledged to support technical staff. US scientists also revealed at the meeting the results of the study of an effective US vaccine against the virus strain that caused the epidemic in China and Southeast Asia.
Cebu to ban hogs, pork from Mindanao
12 February 2020 – Cebu province is putting a ban on live hogs and pork products from Mindanao. The ban will take effect on February 13. Rolando Tambago, President of Virginia Farms Inc and the Central Visayas Pork Producers’ Coop, told Asian Agribiz that the ban is a “smart move” to protect the province’s hog industry and pig farmers. He added however that Cebu’s pork supply may be affected because “we import a portion of our consumption from Mindanao.” The province slaughters about 2600 heads daily to meet demand.
ASF re-emerges in low biosecurity farms in Vietnam
12 February 2020 – Ha Noi has announced 13 new ASF outbreaks with the total number of culled pigs at 71. According to the City’s Department of Livestock Production (DLP), the outbreak was because small farmers are lax with biosecurity when restocking and continue to use swill feed. The unhygienic small-scale slaughtering points and the wet cold weather also contributed to the outbreaks. The DLP has asked farmers to ensure biosecurity and to declare to the government when they restock.
Pig price in Bali contracts on ASF scare
12 February 2020 – The Chairman of the Bali Pig Farmers Association, I Ketut Hari Suyasa, said the price of pigs has dropped due to the number of pigs that have died because of the ASF scare. “A 100/kg pig ready for slaughter is valued at only USD 51. Even piglets are being given away,” he said. Based on data from the Bali Agriculture and Food Safety Service, Badung Regency recorded the highest number of deaths at 598 pigs, followed by Tabanan (219), and Denpasar (45).
ASF recurs in smallholder farms in Vietnam
11 February 2020 – Three districts in Nghe An province have announced ASF outbreaks that killed 22 pigs. Ky Son, one of the three localities was earlier declared ASF-free. According to the provincial Sub-Department of Animal Health, the disease outbreaks were caused by the presence of pathogens in the environment, combined with adverse weather changes. It also said that during the recent holiday, people slaughtered pigs at home and this aided the spread of pathogens.
Unsafe practices likely causes of ASF in Davao Occidental
11 February 2020 – Unsafe practices by backyard pig producers and unscrupulous practices by some producers and traders could be possible causes of the ASF outbreak in Davao Occidental. Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners told Asian Agribiz that many backyard farmers in the area continue to feed swill to their animals. Dr Lapus added that “panicking raisers found ways to sell their pigs to avoid confiscation by authorities, to cut back on losses.”
Bali pig farmers group in disputes reports of ASF
10 February 2020 – The Bali Pig Farmers Association (Gupbi) said the death of pigs in Bali has not been confirmed as due to ASF. Chairman I Ketut Harisuyasa told Asian Agribiz that the information that said ASF killed pigs in Bali is wrong. “Until now, there has been no confirmation from the central government about the case. The results of laboratory tests conducted in Medan have not yet existed. While there is no statement [from the central government], I assume Bali has not been affected by ASF,” he said.
Indonesian pork seen as possible source of Mindanao ASF
10 February 2020 – Philippine agriculture officials are considering the possibility that ASF-infected pork meat from Indonesia caused the ASF outbreak in Davao Occidental province. An agriculture official said that while they are considering other factors, this is infected meat could have found their way to kitchen wastes and were fed to hogs through swill. An industry official told Asian Agribiz that this is “possible because ships from Indonesia visit our port in that area.” As of Friday, about 10,000 pigs have culled in the region to control the outbreak.
Live pig and pork exports from Thailand boosted
10 February 2020 – As the country remains free from ASF and influenza A (H1N1), live pig and pork exports from Thailand are growing, according to Sorawit Thaneeto, Director General of the Department of Livestock Development. He said Thailand shipped 736,700 pigs valued at USD 87.25 million in 2019. Pork exports in the year increased 10% to 17,085 tonnes worth USD 90.80 million. This year, pork exports are expected to increase to 18,794 tonnes.
Managing ASF needs a holistic approach
7 February 2020 – With no cure available, managing ASF is the biggest challenge faced by many Asian pig producers. Considering only the biological and technical aspects of ASF is not enough to control its spread. Understanding local sociocultural, economic and political dimensions are equally important. Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever – Blueprint for the Future’ conference, to be held on April 22-23, 2020 at the Hilton Singapore in Singapore, will have global experts that will share their knowledge on how this can be achieved. Click here for more details and to register.
Oral fluids might help in monitoring ASF
7 February 2020 – The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) in the US is studying the use of oral fluids from pigs to monitor ASF infections. “If there are mortalities, there are tissues that can be analyzed for ASF but, as far as antemortem or live animal monitoring, really the only thing we could use right now is whole blood,” said SHIC Executive Director Paul Sundberg. He said SHIC is currently “testing out oral fluids in Vietnam to see if we can reliably use oral fluids as a different monitoring and testing tool.”
Responsible traveling in the time of ASF
7 February 2020 – In today’s world, traveling helps people connect with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it has also opened ways for pathogens like ASF to spread. But responsible traveling can help people enjoy their trips, while at the same time help preserve pigs and local livelihoods from ASF and other pathogens. Watch this video from the World Organization for Animal Health to learn how you can help prevent ASF from spreading.
ASF kills pigs in Bali
6 February 2020 – Nearly 1000 pigs in Bali have died from ASF over the past few months, a report by Jakarta Post said. Citing Ida Bagus Wisnuardhana, Bali’s Agriculture and Food Security Agency Chief, the report said tests on the animals confirmed they were positive for the virus. Nonetheless, authorities claim they have managed to contain the virus, with no more pigs dying in the last few days. Mr Wisnuardhana said Bali would go ahead with a pork festival on Friday to ease concerns over the outbreak. Bali is the second province in Indonesia to be hit by ASF after North Sumatra, where the virus already claimed some 30,000 pigs.
Thai pork exports to Hong Kong up by 2000%
6 February 2020 – Hong Kong’s pork imports from Thailand has risen by 1,945% to USD 8.78 million during January to November 2019 as China cut supplies of live pigs to the island. China used to export 4000 pigs to Hong Kong daily, but after the ASF outbreaks, it can ship only 1324 pigs/day. Since it will take at least two years for China’s pig industry to recover, Hong Kong will have to buy more pork from Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Philippine government moves to contain ASF in Davao Occidental
5 February 2020 – The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is investigating how ASF entered Davao Occidental. It is already strictly implementing the 1-7-10 protocol in affected areas to contain the virus’ spread. The provincial government has also enforced a complete but temporary lockdown on affected towns to limit the movement of pork and pork products. DA Secretary William Dar lauded the decision of local governments to buy pigs that were not affected by ASF, calling the move a “gamechanger in terms of controlling the virus.”
Vietnam to import 100,000 tons of pork in Q1 2020
5 February 2020 – Domestic supply of pork in Vietnam is still short, and the price of pork is high. In response to the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade have estimated that the market needs 100,000 tons of imported pork. The Vietnamese Trade offices in the US, France, and Belgium have actively boosted trade connection activities to identify meat exporters. After the Tet holiday, pork price dropped USD 0.87/kg to USD 3.46/kg. Restocking is still slow.
Blueprint for living with ASF
4 February 2020 – As ASF continues to spread in Asia, pig producers are in a quandary, whether to stop production while the virus rages or repopulate amid risks of reinfection? One thing is clear: With no vaccine in sight producers will have to live with ASF. At Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever – Blueprint for the Future’ conference, global experts will present not only the latest developments in ASF but how to navigate through the turmoil. The conference, scheduled on April 22-23, 2020 at the Hilton Singapore, will have 16 expert speakers, 20 presentations and four discussion panels. Click here to get more details and to register.
Pig death in Bali touches 600 heads with unclear cause
4 February 2020 – As of January 30, pig mortality in Badung and Gianyar regencies in Bali had reached 654 heads, according to reports from local authorities. The cause of death is still unclear, but blood samples from the dead pigs have been sent to the veterinary agencies in Denpasar and Medan for lab tests. I Ketut Hari Suyasa, Chairman of the Bali Pig Farmers Association told Asian Agribiz that the association quickly responded to this by assisting the affected farmers to bury their dead pigs and disinfect their farms.
ASF shrinks Philippine pig population by 30%
4 February 2020 – ASF has led to a 30% reduction in total pig population in the Philippines, Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners told Asian Agribiz. He added that in Central Luzon, one of the country’s leading pig producing regions, inventory is down 45-50%. The government earlier reported a slowdown in reported cases. But some industry players told Asian Agribiz that many pig farms halted production. Meanwhile, Dr Lapus noted that the supply of piglets is down because of mass culling or death of sows.
Philippines detect ASF in Mindanao
3 February 2020 – Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar confirmed on Sunday that that blood samples from pigs in a province in Mindanao tested positive for ASF. Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners told Asian Agribiz that 1000 pigs have been quarantined, and a lockdown has been ordered in the town of Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental. Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar also ordered local authorities to restrict animal movement in the region.
Riau Islands stop pork shipments from North Sumatra
3 February 2020 – The Tanjungpinang Agricultural Quarantine Center has stopped the shipment of pork from North Sumatra to the Riau Islands. “This is because of the ASF spread in North Sumatra,” Head of Tanjungpinang Agricultural Quarantine Center, Donni Muksydayan told the media. He ensured that there is no ASF outbreaks in the Riau Islands.
The importance of biosecurity in ASF prevention
31 January 2020 – Without a vaccine, the most important tool against ASF is biosecurity. At Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever – Blueprint for the Future’, global experts will examine the relationship between the ‘hardware’ of biosecurity (the quality of buildings, fences, equipment, roads, gates, etc) and the ‘software’ of biosecurity (the mindset of procedures relating to human activities, hygiene regime, education of personnel). They will also discuss the development of biosecurity and related farming protocols to suit specific conditions. The conference will run from April 22-23, 2020 at the Hilton Hotel in Singapore. Click here to learn more and to register.
Vietnam to see shortfall in pork supply in 2020
31 January 2020 – Vietnam reports that nearly 6 million pigs have been lost to ASF by late December 2019, however, Rabobank estimates the figure higher at 7.5 million heads. This would mean that the country’s 2019 pork production is down 21% year-on-year to 2.21 mt. With projected 2019 consumption at 2.44 mt, Vietnam is likely to see a 0.23 mt shortfall. In its Pork Quarterly Q1 2020 report, Rabobank said it expects the gap to expand to 0.27 mt this year, as it sees Vietnam losing another 7% of its pig herd to ASF.
Pig price in North Sulawesi still acceptable
31 January 2020 – Although the price of pigs month has decreased this January, North Sulawesi pig farmers still find the price acceptable at USD 2.34-2.42/kg. This is lower than last year’s price which was around USD 2.64/kg. “But the price can still be enjoyed by farmers. However, if the price of feed doesn’t go up, the pig price will get better,” Gilbert Wantalangi, Chairman of the Association of Pig Farmers in North Sulawesi, told Asian Agribiz.
ASF to continue challenging the global market in 2020
30 January 2020 – While the impact of ASF varies among the affected regions, the scope of the disease has expanded over recent months, Rabobank said in its Pork Quarterly Q1 2020 report. Consequently, in 2020, there will be continuous caution on production expansion in some regions and higher import demand on the global balance sheet. The ‘phase one’ trade deal between the US and China will open opportunities for US exporters to increase shipments to China. At the same time, several ongoing, regional trade-deal discussions will influence global trade flows.
Cambodia faces pork shortage due to ASF
30 January 2020 – Cambodia is facing a pork shortage as its main source Vietnam is battling ASF. Srun Pov, President of the Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association, said the price of currently available pork is expensive. Most, about 7000-8000 hogs, are coming in from Thailand daily. The market price is USD 5 per/kg and more than half is sent to Vietnam. Pork has regained its popularity in Cambodia after the initial ASF.
Rising pig production cost in Bali
29 January 2020 – The cost of pig production in Bali, Indonesia has risen with farmers spending more to prevent ASF. According to pig farmer Gusti Putu Winiantara, investment in disinfectants to ensure better sanitation is costing a lot, but farmers are not sure of similar returns or sales. With the number of pigs dying suddenly, slaughterers are also being selective when buying pigs.
Seized meat from China positive for ASF – Philippine Customs
29 January 2020 – The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) said meat products from China seized at a Manila port in December tested positive for ASF. The products are among part of a shipment that included dumplings, pork-chicken balls, and roasted chicken wings. Meanwhile, the Manila International Container Port has already ordered an inter-agency team to immediately dispose of the products to curb the spread of the virus. The BOC also noted that the seized items did not have a sanitary permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry.
International feed tonnage declines due to ASF
29 January 2020 – International feed tonnage decreased by 1.07% to 1.126 billion tons produced last year, due largely to ASF and the decline of pig feed in the Asia Pacific region, according to the 2020 Alltech Global Feed Survey. The top nine feed-producing countries are the US, China, Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Germany. Together, these countries produce 58% of the world’s feed through 57% of the world’s feedmills. The global data, collected from 145 countries and nearly 30,000 feedmills, indicates that predominant growth came from the layer, broiler, aqua and pet feed sectors.
Biosecurity guide released by Provimi
29 January 2020 – The importance of having good and properly implemented biosecurity protocols in pig farms to keep ASF at bay cannot be overestimated. Provimi, a brand of Cargill, has a farm biosecurity guide that list the biosafety measures that pig producers can implement in the farm. The information encompasses areas such as farm surroundings, visitors, feed safety, cleanliness and more. Click here to access the guide.
Global experts discuss living with ASF at Singapore conference
28 January 2020 – To help Asian pig producers address ASF-related challenges, Asian Agribiz will stage the ‘Living with African Swine Fever – Blueprint for the Future’ conference on April 22-23, 2020 at the Hilton Singapore. The event will include 20 presentations and four discussion panels. It will gather a team of experts led by Klaus Depner, Juergen Richt, and Khampee Kortheerakul, all at the forefront of efforts to control ASF. For more details and to register, click here.
New experimental ASF vaccine show promise
28 January 2020 – Researchers from the US Department of Agriculture report they have developed a vaccine that seems to be more effective than previously developed vaccines. Their study, published in the American Society for Microbiology’s Journal of Virology, showed both low and high doses of the vaccine were 100% effective against the virus when the pigs were challenged 28 days post-inoculation. Principal investigator Douglas Gladue admits that more work must be done before commercialization, but “this new experimental ASFV vaccine shows promise, and offers complete protection against the current strain currently producing outbreaks throughout Eastern Europe and Asia.”
Laos raises floor price for pork due to short supply
28 January 2020 – The Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department (VICD) is setting a new standard price for retail pork to cope with tight supply due to ASF. The new suggested price is at USD 4.51/kg, an increase of 50 cent against the old price. ASF, combined with increased cost of production, has caused a drop in supply in Vientiane with large-scale farms shrinking from 187 to 113 farms. Vientiane needs about 800 pigs a day. Large-scale farms can only meet 77.27% of the demand, the rest comes from small-scale farms.
Indonesia struggles to control ASF
27 January 2020 – The government of North Sumatra is working hard to control the disease and has chosen Nias island to restock pigs. Central Java’s government, meanwhile, intensifies its control on pig and pork distribution to its region. In Bali, the cause of recent pig deaths in Badung is currently being investigated. Asian Agribiz’s ARIEF FACHRUDIN gives an update of current developments in the country.
North Sumatra beefs up ASF control efforts
North Sumatra’s government continues to beef up efforts to control ASF, which was first reported in September 2019. Head of Food Security and Livestock Agency of the province, Azhar Harahap, said they have controlled the pig distribution traffic, set up quick reaction posts in each region, given disinfectants to affected farmers, improved farm biosecurity, assisted affected farmers intensively and collected data. Data from the agency show that ASF has killed 39,000 pigs of the province’s total pig inventory of 1.23 million heads. “Currently, around 300 pigs die daily, a drastic decrease from the previous 1000 heads,” said Mr Harahap.
Meanwhile, the provincial government has identified and prepared Nias island to restock pigs. The island, located off the western coast of Sumatra, was chosen because it remains free from ASF. The province’s Food Security and Livestock Agency has also improved controls in the province to prevent the entry of ASF.
It will also soon issue animal health certificates for ASF-free pigs to make sure that ASF-free farms in the province can continue to run their business. Mr Harahap said that the halt in pig distribution traffic has negatively impacted people who are dependent on the pig and pork business.
As further assistance, the government is also considering donating other livestock animals, such as cattle, goat, chicken, and fish to ASF affected pig farmers in the province. The fund for the donation can be coming from both state and provincial budgets. “We can’t give pigs anymore… until the province is clean from the ASF virus,” he said.
Stamping out issue is a hoax
North Sumatra’s government also belied claims made by the #savebabi hashtag that trended on social media with statements that North Sumatra’s governor plans to stamp out all pigs in the province. Mr Harahap said there was never any plan to conduct stamping out. Moreover, such a move would contradict the country’s regulation allowing stamping out for livestock animals affected by zoonotic disease. ASF is not zoonotic.
Central Java strengthens control on pig, pork distribution
To prevent ASF from entering Central Java, the province’s Livestock and Animal Health Agency will strengthen the control of pig and pork distribution to its region. “This province has 10 checking posts for livestock distribution traffic. We will strengthen controls at all the posts,” said agency official Abdulah. Central Java is one of the main pig production centers in Indonesia and the largest supplier of live pigs to Jakarta. Official data show that the pig population in the province was 116,000 heads in 2018.
Cause of pig deaths in Badung still unclear
The Agriculture and Food Agency in Badung, Bali reported pig deaths in the regency last week, but did not specify the number. Agency Head I Wayan Wijana explained that blood samples have been taken from the pigs and sent to the Veterinary Agency in Denpasar. Farmers in the area have received disinfectants and been asked to disinfect their pig farms. “The cause is still unclear as we are still waiting for the result from the lab test. But we don’t expect it to be ASF virus,” said I Gede Asrama, Head of Animal Health at the agency.
Meanwhile, the Bali Pig Farmers Association (Gupbi) hopes the death of pigs in Badung regency is not caused by ASF. Gupbi Chairman I Ketut Hari Suyasa said reports of the deaths were received from farmers in Tangeb, Bongkasa, Sedang, and Jagapati. “The mortality is not high. As far as I know, the ASF virus kills 100% of the population. So, we hope it is not the cause of death,” said Mr Suyasa. He also appreciates the quick move of the local agriculture agency in taking blood samples for lab tests and asking farmers to disinfect their farms.
Changing the way pigs are raised
24 January 2020 – As it spreads in Asia and other parts of the world, ASF is changing the way producers are raising their pigs. “It is forcing us to reorganize the pig business, making us review efficient pig production and rethink about size or scale in farming,” said Khampee Kortheerakul, a swine veterinary consultant and former Professor at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University. Dr Khampee will share his knowledge on how to address ASF at Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference. The conference is set for April 22-23, 2020 at the Hilton Hotel in Singapore. Click here for more details.
Laos to raise standard price as pork price surges
24 January 2020 – The government of Laos will set a new standard price for pork as the current price does not meet the expectation of sellers. Currently, the government price for pork is USD 4/kg, while market price is USD 4.85/kg. According to The Vientiane Times, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said the new price will be in line with market prices yet affordable. Pork price rose a few weeks ago when floods and a widespread outbreak of ASF killed thousands of pigs, causing a supply crunch.
China to import more pork in 2020
24 January 2020 – Although China has reported fewer new cases of ASF in recent months, losses in its sow herd will mean lower domestic production this year. In its Pork Quarterly Q1 2020 report, Rabobank said this suggests that China must increase its import to meet local demand. In 2019, the country brought in a record 3.1-3.2 mt of pork meat and offal. For 2020, imports could rise by 30-40%, reaching 4.24 mt.
Japan tightens measures against ASF
23 January 2020 – In the lead up to the Chinese New Year, Japan has strengthened measures to prevent the entry of ASF into the country. The Animal Quarantine Service of Japan (AQS) is using quarantine detector dogs to monitor smuggled livestock products, especially from ASF-affected countries. By end-March 2020, it will increase the number of quarantine dogs to 53. At the same time, it will strengthen punishments against violators. Since. Currently, it imposes fines less than USD 9000 or imprisonment of less than three years. Since April 2019, seven people have been arrested.
Canada announces new ASF vaccine research
23 January 2020 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced a collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Center (VIDO-InterVac) to develop an ASF vaccine. The effort will support Canada’s ASF preparedness strategy by increasing its research capacity. The goal is to develop and test vaccines and antivirals for ASF. The VIDO-InterVac facility is the first non-government facility to work with the virus in Canada. “CFIA’s support increases Canada’s international contribution to combat the spread of ASF,” said VIDO-InterVac Director Volker Gerdts.
Navigating through ASF
22 January 2020 – Without a vaccine in sight, controlling the spread of ASF is a monumental task. As Asian pig producers come to terms with the virus’ impact, it is clear that controlling its spread needs a holistic approach. Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference seeks to provide pig producers with some answers to navigate through this turmoil. Bringing together ASF experts from around the world, the conference will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Singapore on April 22-23, 2020. Click here [https://asian-agribiz.com/conferences/living-with-african-swine-fever/] to learn more about the conference.
Beijing will release 20,000 tons of pork for Chinese New Year
22 January 2020 – China will once again use its pork reserves to ease pork prices ahead of the Chinese New Year. The China Merchandise Reserve Management Center announced that 20,000 tons of frozen pork would be released from state reserves on January 21. Chinese New Year starts on January 25 and is a week-long affair marked by a high consumption of pork. Beijing has released over 200,000 tonnes of frozen pork from state reserves since early December to make up for supply shortages after ASF took out 21% of pork production in the country.
ASF threats continue in Vietnam due to pig smuggling
21 January 2020 – The increasing demand for pork during Tet is driving pig trafficking in the borders of Vietnam, Cambodia and China. Sources tell thanhnien.vn that some 5000 live pigs are smuggled into Vietnam daily via the borders. Pork price currently hangs high in Vietnam at USD 3.66/kg. At this price, pig dealers can profit as much as USD 0.45/kg. However, the continued smuggling poses a threat to the domestic industry as the pigs originate from ASF-affected countries.
ASF brings down China’s pork output to 16-year low
20 January 2020 – ASF brought down China’s pork output to 42.55 mt in 2019, down 21.3% from the previous year, Reuters reported. Citing data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the report noted that last year’s figure is the lowest since 2003. The world’s leading pork producer and consumer reported its first case of ASF in August 2018 and since then the virus has spread in all of China’s provinces. NBS data also show that the country’s pig herd also declined 27.5% from 2018 to 310.41 million head by the end-2019.
Malaysia tightens pork watch for Chinese New Year
20 January 2020 – The Malaysian government is stepping up efforts to prevent imported pork and pork-related products from entering the country especially for the Chinese New Year, the Star Online reported. The Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) have beefed up checkpoints given the threat of ASF. Malaysia remains ASF-free and has banned pork imports from ASF-infected countries. Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Deputy Minister Sim Tze Tzin said that last year, the government imposed fines worth almost USD 50,000 on illegally imported products, and seized products worth over USD 41 million.
ASF challenge relates to the specific needs and circumstances of pig producers
17 January 2020 – “The major challenge in achieving control of ASF is now not necessarily technical but relates to the specific needs and circumstances of pig producers, traders, pork consumers, landowners, hunters and other forest users in affected areas. Control options fully adapted to the local context and highly accepted by the end users are required,” claim Erika Chenais, Klaus Depner, Vittorio Guberti, Klaas Dietze, Arvo Viltrop & Karl Ståhl in Porcine Health Management. Klaus Depner Head of the International Animal Health Team, Institute of Epidemiology, Friedrich-Loeffler Institut, Germany, will speak at Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference in Singapore on April 22-23, 2020. Click here for further details on the conference.
USDA sees a 10% drop in Philippine 2020 pork production
17 January 2020 – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects Philippine pork output to fall by 10% this year due to ASF. In its latest Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report, the agency estimates Philippine pork production to reach 1.475 mt carcass weight equivalent (cwe) in 2020, down from 2019’s 1.64 mt. However, the agency noted that “ASF has not spread as quickly as previously anticipated.” In October, the USDA pegged its 2020 estimate at 1.4 mt. But it revised its projection due to “higher-than-expected hog supplies and fewer disease impacts.”
China’s sow herd up 2.2% in December
16 January 2020 – China’s sow inventory rose 2.2% in December over the previous month, a report by Reuters said. Official government data show that the country’s sow herd had declined by almost 40% by October 2019. But the sow herd has been picking up, said Yu Kangzhen, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Sow inventory is now up 7% since September. Likewise, the number of slaughtered pigs grew 14.1% in December, as farmers liquidated their herds ahead of the Lunar New Year festival later this month.
Vietnam bolsters pork shortage with 100,000 tons of imports
16 January 2020 – Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade expects supply of pork to drop by 200,000 tons in Q1 2020. While farmers have not shown signs of re-herding, imports are the most feasible and fastest way to make up for the shortage. Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has assigned relevant agencies to import 100,000 tons of pork mainly from Brazil, the US, and some European countries. Imported meat cost USD 2/kg, about 70% of the domestic retail price.
China/Hong Kong pork demand drives up US pork exports
15 January 2020 – US pork exports to China/Hong Kong hit 82,213 tons in November 2019, up 284% year-on-year, the US Meat Export Federation reported. Export value jumped 240% to USD 204.9 million during the period. From January-November, exports to the region rose 71% to 554,789 tons, valued at USD 1.18 billion (up 49%). As China continues to battle ASF, the region’s pork demand continues to fuel its rising imports. US pork producers hope that the Phase 1 trade agreement signing between the US and China will boost shipment of US goods to the Asian giant.
Contaminated feed can transmit ASF
15 January 2020 – ASF and other foreign animal diseases can be spread via imported feed and feed ingredients. Both the products and contaminated packaging can potentially carry live virus. One way to reduce viral survival in imported feed and feed ingredients is to hold them in storage prior to use. This article by the Ontario Animal Health Network enumerates ways to minimize the risks of viral or disease transmission from feed and feed ingredients.
Trade expert to address ASF conference in Singapore
14 January 2020 – Gordon Butland will address Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference in Singapore on 22-23 April 2020 about the impact of ASF on the global meat trade. Mr Butland, a director of G&S Agriconsultants Co Ltd in Thailand, established a career in accounting that saw him rise to become Chief Financial Officer for the Coca Cola Company for South Latin America. In 1989 he started his association with Rabobank International. In the mid-90s he started to visit Southeast Asia and in 1998 moved to Asia and became Rabobank’s Global Head of the poultry sector. In September 2004 he retired and is now concentrating on advisory assignments within the entire spectrum of the global livestock industry. Click here for further details.
Germany worries as ASF gets closer to border
14 January 2020 – Germany’s government is concerned about the spread of ASF in wild boars in Poland close to the German border, a report by Reuters said. Germany is a leading global pork exporter and is a key supplier for China and other key Asian markets. There are fears that exports would be threatened if the virus hits the country. German regional governments have started building fences along the Polish border in an attempt to stop infected wild boar roaming into Germany.
Quezon City to test pork meat from 20 supermarkets
13 January 2020 – The Quezon City government in the Philippines’ national capital region will test meat from 20 supermarkets in the city. The move follows the discovery of meat products tainted with ASF in two supermarkets in the city last week. The products were traced to a company operating out of Bulacan province, among the areas hardest hit by ASF. The testing will involve some 300kg of meat from various groceries around the city. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture said it would further investigate the matter, noting gaps in the process of slaughtering and transporting of meat.
EU’s Vacdiva project aims to develop ASF vaccine
13 January 2020 – The EU’s Vacdiva project aims to develop a vaccine against ASF to help solve the current crisis faced by pig producers in countries affected by the disease. The EUR 10m project began on October 1, 2019 and will run for four years. Among its goals is to produce three safe and effective pilot vaccines for wild boars and domestic pigs. The project is being led by the University of Madrid. It involves two world ASF Reference Laboratories (OIE and FAO), the EU reference laboratory, six EU national Reference Laboratories and four prestigious ASF research institutions.
Comprehensive program on ASF for Singapore conference
10 January 2020 – A conference in Singapore on 22-23 April 2020 featuring 16 expert speakers, 20 presentations and four discussion panels will help the Asian pig industry navigate through the turmoil of African Swine Fever. This event will replace the Pig Feed Quality Conference in 2020. ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ will cover the culture of biosecure management, monitoring and response strategies, health issues, pharmaceutical aids including vaccine development, physical biosecurity, genetics as a potential tool, robust nutrition to enhance gut integrity, minimizing the risk of feed ingredients, logistics and meat supply. Click here for further details.
Slight decline in 2020 Philippine feed output due to ASF
10 January 2020 – The Philippine feed industry will see slightly lower volumes in 2020 because of ASF. However, feed producers remain optimistic. Terence Uygongco, President of the Philippine Association of Feed Manufacturers Inc, told Asian Agribiz that “since the spread of ASF is decreasing and pork prices have ticked upwards during the last two weeks of December, we are hoping that this can be sustained to encourage hog raisers to restart populating hogs. But biosecurity protocols should already be in place.” Earlier Rabobank said it is likely that the country’s feed demand will fall by 4.3% in 2020 as ASF will lead to a decrease pig herd.
China to release more pork reserves in time for the New Year
9 January 2020 – In preparation for the Lunar New Year, China will release 20,000 tons of frozen pork from its state reserves today. Reuters reports that the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center made the announcement this week as it prepares to manage rising pork prices before the holidays. Demand for pork in China skyrockets during the Lunar New Year holiday. Since December, Beijing has already released over 100,000 tons of frozen pork from state reserves to control pork prices. ASF has decimated a significant proportion of China’s pig herd, causing pork prices to spiral out of control. In response, China has been increasing its pork imports and releasing its reserves from time to time to ease prices and ensure supply.
Taiwan fines on pork bearing travelers at USD 4.5m in 2019
8 January 2020 – Taiwan has fined inbound travelers some USD 4.5 million in 2019 for bringing in pork from ASF-infected countries, a report by Focus Taiwan said. The Taiwanese government increased the fine to about USD 6650 in December 2018. According to the ASF Central Emergency Operation Center, most of the products came from mainland China, Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines. Between August 2018 and January 2, 2020, 216 of a total of 2844 samples of pork products brought in illegally into Taiwan tested positive for ASF.
Japan seeks preventative ASF culls in case of outbreak
8 January 2020 – The Japanese government is seeking to revise its Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control starting this month to allow preventative culls in case of an ASF outbreak in the country. Japan remains free of the virus. Currently, the law only permits preventive culls in case of an FMD outbreak, during which the government indemnifies affected livestock owners. Further revisions of the law are likely to include tightening controls on inbound tourists to prevent entry of illegal meat products into the country. Since October 2018, Japan has confiscated 86 meat products that tested positive for the ASF virus
Venue secured for ASF conference on 22-23 April
7 January 2020 – Asian Agribiz’ ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference will be held at the Hilton Singapore on 22-23 April 2020. A special conference rate of SGD 295 including breakfast, Wi-Fi and taxes has been negotiated. This event will replace the Pig Feed Quality Conference in 2020 and bring together a team of unequaled experts led by three people at the very forefront of the struggle: Klaus Depner, Friedrich-Loeffler Institut, Germany; Juergen Richt, Kansas State University, USA; and Khampee Kortheerakul, Independent swine veterinary consultant, Thailand. Click here for further details.
Philippine pork demand is picking up despite ASF
7 January 2020 – Pork demand in the Philippines has been picking up, pulling up farm prices. Edwin Chen, President of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, told Asian Agribiz that producers see “an upward trend in farm prices in the next few months.” This would enable them “to recover the huge losses during the past few months.” Chester Warren Tan, President of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc also told Asian Agribiz he is hopeful for the industry, noting that they are monitoring if the momentum on demand will continue this month.
South Korea confirms 56th case of ASF
7 January 2020 – South Korea confirmed its 56th case of ASF after a wild boar found dead in Paju, near the border with North Korea, tested positive for the virus, the Yonhap News Agency reported. Since the first case in the country was reported in September 2019, the country has slaughtered over 153,000 pigs to contain the spread of the disease. It has also mobilized soldiers and civilians to hunt down wild boars near the border. South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest pork consumer, has a significant domestic pig industry.
EU project aimed at developing an ASF vaccine
6 January 2019 As ASF continues to ravage pig industries in the EU and Asia, the EU’s VACDIVA project aims to develop three safe and effective pilot vaccines for wild boar and domestic pigs. Led by the University of Madrid, VACDIVA has experts involved from two world ASF reference laboratories (OIE and FAO), the EU reference laboratory, six EU national reference laboratories, and four prestigious ASF research institutions. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research will focus on modeling the spread of ASF in and between populations of domestic pigs and wild boars, to be able to analyze what the most effective vaccination strategies are. The project, which began on October 1, 2019, has a funding of over USD 11.16 million and will run for three years.
Philippine feed wheat consumption to fall by 100,000t
3 January 2020 The USDA revised its forecast for Philippine feed wheat consumption to fall by 100,000 tons from a projection of 300,000 tons earlier, due to the ASF outbreaks. In its latest Grain and Feed Update, the USDA’s Manila post noted that the country has been successful in limiting the virus’ spread to the island of Luzon. But, key production areas remain affected, and there are reports of downward pressure on feed and pork demand.
China’s Sichuan province to produce 60m pigs this year
3 January 2020 China’s leading pig producing province Sichuan has pledged to produce 60 million hogs in 2020, the country’s state media Xinhua said. The province is among those hit by ASF, and pig production fell 18% in the first three quarters of 2019. To achieve its target, local authorities will allocate the output target to districts and counties within the region. It will also give about USD 43 as subsidy for every newly added sow and subsidize companies that restart deserted pig farms or build new ones.
In the November-December 2019 issue of Asian Pork Magazine, on the news item titled ‘ASF hits three more countries’ on page 3, Thailand was inadvertently identified as Myanmar on the accompanying map. We apologize for this mistake and reiterate that Thailand remains ASF-free to date.
Leading regional vet to speak at Singapore conference on ASF
2 January 2020 Khampee Kortheerakul, an independent swine veterinary consultant based in Thailand with a practice throughout Southeast Asia and China, will speak at the ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference in Singapore on 22-23 April 2020. After graduating, Dr Khampee worked for ten years at Chulalongkorn University as instructor-researcher in the area of swine medicine and clinical practice. He then joined Novartis Animal Health as Regional Swine Expert covering Southeast Asia, Taiwan and China. During this period, he conducted field trials to test products and researched emerging diseases in the region. Since 2004 Dr Khampee has worked as an independent veterinary and production consultant and has lectured at various academic institutions. Click here for further details of the conference.
Philippine hog producers optimistic for 2020
2 January 2020 Despite its continuing battle with ASF, Philippine hog producers are “very optimistic” about the coming year. Edwin Chen, President of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, told Asian Agribiz that while the industry “suffered much in the last five months, I think the worst is already behind us.” He noted that the country fared better than its Asian neighbors “in terms of mortality and condemnation of animals with infection.” Demand too has picked up going into the Christmas season and as the media scare died down, he added.
Indonesia forms emergency posts to control ASF in North Sumatra
30 December 2019 To control the outbreak of ASF in North Sumatra, Indonesia’s Agriculture Ministry has formed 102 emergency posts in different regencies and sub-districts. According to Director General of Livestock and Animal Health, I Ketut Diarmita, this is integrated and managed by the fast-moving team from the directorate, the veterinary agency in Medan, the province’s food security and livestock agency, public works agency, health agency and police. “We monitor disposal of dead pigs and control transportation of live pigs and pork products,” he said.
Australia stepping up ASF-prevention measures
30 December 2019 Australians travelling to Asia have been warned not to bring back food or footwear to prevent the spread of ASF. After Indonesia confirmed ASF outbreaks, the Australian government responded by setting aside a further USD 45.3 million to enact preventative measures. Furthermore, Australians caught bringing pork-related products into the country face fines up to USD 288,775 and or up to ten years imprisonment. They are also warned to disinfect and clean outdoor equipment/outerwear brought from overseas including footwear that may carry the virus.
US pork exporters seek more opportunities in HK
30 December 2019 The US Meat Export Federation (Usmef) is seeking to increase its pork exports to Hong Kong. The city is currently experiencing a shortfall in pork supply due to ASF. Since the virus first hit China, the city’s supply of pigs from China has fallen by 50%. This led to a shortage of and the higher prices of fresh pork in the city. Joel Haggard, Usmef Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific, noted this opens opportunities for US pork, especially as Asian consumers get used to chilled pork.
US expert on ASF to address Singapore conference
27 December 2019 Juergen A. Richt, a distinguished professor from Kansas State University will speak at Asian Agribiz’s ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference in Singapore on April 22-23, 2020. A pioneer in veterinary science, most notably in the ‘One Health’ field, his work on high consequence pathogens with zoonotic and transboundary potential led to strategies to identify, control and/or eradicate such agents. He has done research on many pathogens and diseases including ASF. Dr Richt is developing subunit and modified live virus vaccine candidates to protect swine from ASF. Click here for further details on the conference.
North Sumatra allocates funds to bury pigs died due to ASF
27 December 2019 Indonesia’s North Sumatra has allocated USD 357,938 to bury thousands of pigs that had died due to ASF and contain the virus’ spread. Some 30,000 pigs have died due to the disease, causing losses to pig farmers in the province. Governor Edy Rahmayadi said the generous amount of funding is needed since the number of dead pigs is increasing. “The funds will be used to prepare personnel to bury the dead pigs, form a patrol team and set up posts to close off the entrance and exit for the pigs,” he said
China welcomes greater imports with better tariffs
26 December 2019 China has announced reduced tariffs on frozen pork beginning January 1, 2020. The new tariffs according to the Tariff Commission of the State Council will be reduced to 8% from 12%. With the Chinese pig herd decimated by at least 40% due to ASF, pork imports into the country have been surging. The government stated that in November 2019 alone, pork imports rose by 150%. China also lifted the ban on Japanese pork last week, as the countries look to a better trading relationship.
Dead pigs in North Sumatra touches 30k
26 December 2019 As of December 20, the Food Security and Livestock Agency in North Sumatra, Indonesia has recorded a total of 30,000 dead pigs in 16 regencies. The highest mortalities were found in Dairi, Karo and Deli Serdang. The total pig population in the 16 regencies is 653,000 heads, according to Mulkan Harahap, Head of the agency. Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture first confirmed that the death of pigs in the province was due to ASF. To control the outbreak, the agency continues to improve farm biosecurity and prevents live pig transportation from the infected regions.
China to release 40,000 tons of pork today
23 December 2019 Pork prices during the Chinese New Year to be controlled as China decides today, stated the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center. China has been strategically releasing pork supplies from its reserves from time to time, to cool down prices. In September, 10,000 tons were released for auction when prices spiked by 46.7% in August. Prior to that, it released 10,000 tons in January in time for the Spring Festival.
Malaysia restricts movement of pork products
23 December 2019 Malaysia is further restricting the movement of pork products from ASF-infected countries after Indonesia reported the outbreak of the disease in North Sumatra. Department of Veterinary Services’ (DVS) Principal Assistant Director J Thamotharan told Asian Agribiz that DVS now mandates inflight announcements to remind passengers not to bring food containing pork products by hand-carried luggage. “Customs will carry out strict inspections on hand-carried luggage at airports. Any pork product detected at airports will be seized by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services. Meanwhile, all food waste from planes will be destroyed. Furthermore, DVS is running continuous awareness campaigns for all stakeholders/mass media as well as put blocks on pork product imports from the affected country.”
Comprehensive program on ASF for Singapore conference
20 December 2019 A conference in Singapore on April 22-23, 2020 featuring 16 expert speakers, 20 presentations and four discussion panels will help the Asian pig industry navigate through the turmoil of African Swine Fever. This event will replace the Pig Feed Quality Conference in 2020. ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ will cover the culture of biosecure management, monitoring and response strategies, health issues, pharmaceutical aids including vaccine development, physical biosecurity, genetics as a potential tool, robust nutrition to enhance gut integrity, minimizing the risk of feed ingredients, logistics and meat supply. Click here for further details.
Malaysia bans pork from Indonesia
20 December 2019 Malaysia has banned pork imports from Indonesia after that country confirmed ASF outbreaks in North Sumatra. Deputy Minister Sim Tze Tzin said that the measure is meant to ensure biosecurity and keep the virus out of the country. He said bans exist on all pork-related products from ASF-infected countries and urged “all Malaysians to be vigilant in the battle against the outbreak and refrain from buying imported pork-related products.
Vietnam should not compensate ASF re-infected farms
19 December 2019 The rising price of pork is driving many farms to restock despite being in ASF affected areas and being infected. However, the success rate of these farms is low. Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of Dong Nai Livestock Association said that there should not be compensation for re-infected farms. “When there is no compensation farmers will not restock and this could also force them to change their old habits,” he said to Asian Agribiz. He believes the industry should pay more attention to improve farm biosecurity and performance.
China’s rising pork imports
19 December 2019 During the first ten months of 2019, China’s pork imports from its main pork suppliers all exhibited increases. During the period, imports rose 114% year-on-year. As supply continue to fall short, China’s government has accelerated licensing procedures and approved more countries and plants to export to the country. In 2020, Rabobank sees even more intense competition for pork imports, as demand from other countries in Asia are expected to shoot up as more ASF outbreaks occur.
Hog, pork prices in South Korea to continue rising in 2020
18 December 2019 Reduced pork inventory and lower breeding intentions are driving prices of live hogs and pork products up in South Korea. In its latest global outlook on ASF, Rabobank said the country has lost over 430,000 pigs to ASF, including those culled and slaughtered. With tighter supply, prices will likely increase further. But higher global pork prices could limit the growth of South Korea’s pork imports next year.
Feed demand in Vietnam, Philippines to fall in 2020
18 December 2019 Vietnam and the Philippines will both see a reduction in total feed demand in 2020. The pig industry in the two countries corner the bulk of their feed production. But with both battling ASF, Rabobank sees their pig herd shrinking. Thus, total feed demand in Vietnam could fall by 7.9% this year, while the Philippines will see an 8.4% decline. Rabobank forecasts the total feed demand for both Vietnam and the Philippines to go down by 2.1% and 4.3% in 2020.
Vietnam to lose 27% of pig herd in 2019
17 December 2019 Vietnam is expected to lose about 7.4 million pigs, or 27% of its total pig herd, in 2019, Rabobank said in its latest global update on ASF. The figure includes losses from unreported cases. This translates to a 21% decline in the country’s pork output for the year. Meanwhile, record hog prices will make pork unaffordable for many people, leading to lower per capita consumption to 25kg, down 17%, in 2019. This could fall a further 6% in 2020 to 24kg.
US ships chilled pork to Hong Kong
17 December 2019 The US has shipped a consignment of chilled pork to Hong Kong, which is currently experiencing a supply shortage that has jacked up prices. The shortage resulted from a nearly 57% drop in live pig shipment from mainland China, which continues to battle ASF. Hong Kong previously imported about 4000 heads from China daily, but this has dropped to about 1750 daily in November 2019. Data from the US Meat Export Federation show that US pork imports to China/Hong Kong from January-October were up 55% in volume (468,576 tons) and 34% in value (USD 974.8m).
Zoono product found effective against ASF
17 December 2019 Biotech company Zoono announced that its proprietary microbe shield, Zoono Z71, was found to be “extremely effective” in counteracting the ASF virus. Researchers discovered that Zoono’s Z71 microbe shield inactivated the ASF virus with 99.99% efficiency without any toxic or detrimental effects. The company is also conducting trials in pig pens in China in conjunction with several pig producers, reporting that within the pens treated with its proprietary product, there have been no ASF virus infections or pig fatalities.
European ASF expert to speak at Singapore conference on ASF
6 December 2019 Klaus Depner, Head of the International Animal Health Team at Friedrich-Loeffler Institut, Germany will speak at the ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ conference in Singapore on 22-23 April 2020. Dr Depner first encountered ASF while serving as head of the virology laboratory at the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Windhoek, Namibia. He later became head of the German National Reference Laboratory for CSF and ASF at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut. He has conducted field investigations for ASF in affected countries and participated in the development of ASF control and eradication programs. Click here for further details about the conference.
Indonesia confirms ASF outbreak in North Sumatera
16 December 2019 Indonesia’s Minister of Agriculture confirmed last Thursday the ASF outbreaks in North Sumatera. Since late September, increased pig mortality has been reported in the province. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is liaising with the Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health. The Director of Animal Health also requested FAO to provide recommendations on containment and control of ASF. The FAO team is drafting recommendations for ASF control, in accordance with conditions in Indonesia.
Philippine pig herd could fall 13% in 2020
16 December 2019 The spread of ASF in the Philippines could result in a 13% reduction in its pig herd next year. In its latest global update of ASF, Rabobank said that this would reflect an 8% drop in pork production to 1.5 mt. While the Philippine government has noted a slowdown in the virus’s spread in the past few weeks, Rabobank said that should the virus spread outside of Luzon into other islands and bigger farms, the pig herd and pork production could shrink by 19% and 13% (to 1.4 mt), respectively.
Managing ASF the global challenge for the 2020s
13 December 2019 With ASF continuing to spread in Asia and Europe, managing the virus is set to become the global animal protein challenge of the 2020s, Rabobank said in its latest global outlook for ASF. “High pork prices in China and major exporting regions are creating significant challenges for customers and consumers,” report author Justin Sherrard writes. “The whole sector loses if high prices cause a consumption drop that becomes permanent.” He added that market instability will remain until global players find the balance between “near-term margin opportunities of higher exports and support for longer term customer partnerships.”
Further herd loss expected in Vietnam in 2020
13 December Even as ASF decimated over 20% of Vietnam’s pig herd this year, the country can expect further herd and production losses in 2020. In its latest global outlook for ASF, Rabobank noted that the country’s pig her will drop by a further 8% next year. It also expects record hog prices, which will make pork out of reach for many people. Consequently, per capita pork consumption, which is forecast to fall by 17% to 25kg in 2019, will drop another 6% to 24kg in 2020.
Minimizing pathogen exposure in pig production
High health production creates ‘germ-poor’ environments where animals’ exposure to pathogens is minimized, and the benefits they bring are worth the effort. Particularly in the finishing stage, high health status swine production has been associated with larger yields, improved feed conversion, higher growth rates, improved uniformity and lower mortality. These achievements all contribute to better margins. How can farmers implement high health production on their farms – especially in challenged environments such as Asia? In the aftermath of ASF and many other disease outbreaks, the most efficient and secure way to implement a high health status herd is to repopulate using well-adapted animals with a high immunity status and resistance against local pathogens. Click here to learn more.
Asean-5 pork production seen to fall 5% in 2020
12 December 2019 Driven by sow losses in Vietnam and the Philippines, Rabobank sees pork production in Asean-5 to decline by 5% to 5.2mt in 2020. Asean-5 includes the two countries plus Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. This will add to the 9% decline expected in 2019 due to ASF. Rabobank notes that the shortage will keep hog prices high beyond the peak demand season in early 2020. This would affect fresh meat supply and lead to a 3% drop in consumption to 5.84mt next year. Meanwhile, frozen pork imports are seen to rise by 11% to 722,000 tons.
ASF to be tackled in Singapore conference in April
To help the pig industry navigate through the turmoil of ASF, Asian Pork Magazine is organizing a conference in Singapore on 22-23 April 2020 involving 16 experts, 20 presentations and four discussion panels. This event will replace the Pig Feed Quality Conference in 2020. ‘Living with African Swine Fever: Blueprint for the Future’ will bring together a team of unequaled experts led by three people at the very forefront of the struggle: Klaus Depner, Friedrich-Loeffler Institut, Germany; Juergen Richt, Kansas State University, USA; and Khampee Kortheerakul, Independent swine veterinary consultant, Thailand. Click here for further details.
High price, competition for suppliers hurting Philippine pork importers
11 December 2019 As global pork prices continue to rise and suppliers increasingly set their sights on the Chinese markets, Philippine meat importers are finding their pork sources dwindling. “The Philippines is very price sensitive,” Jesus Cham, President of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, told Asian Agribiz. “Because of ASF, prices in the global market have gone up by as much as 50%, so it is a price game. Our traditional meat suppliers prefer to sell to China, which is willing to pay higher prices. So for us, supplies are drying up.”
High health farming as a long-term strategy
Reducing animals’ exposure to specific pathogens is an important priority not only for defending against devastating diseases such as ASF, but to support animals’ lifetime performance. As high health farming reduces the average pathogen level on the farm, animals enjoy the ancillary benefits a low-germ environment offers. For example, fewer germs mean less effort is required by animals’ immune systems to defend against pathogens. Viewed through this lens, we see that biosecurity evolves from a farm hygiene model toward an economic approach that supports animal health and welfare and producer profitability. Click here to learn more.
ASF helps push meat prices to highest increase in over a decade
10 December 2019 Between October and November 2019, meat prices jumped by 4.6% on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s meat price index, the biggest month-on-month hike in over decade. Price quotations for all types of meat in the index rose, reflecting tight supplies against strong import demand, especially from China, which saw its pork supply plummet due to ASF. Demand led by end-of-the-year festivities exacerbated the tightening of global meat supply, lifting pork prices further and resulting in some increase in poultry meat prices after three months of declines.
China targets three years to build back pig herd
10 December 2019 China has unveiled a three-year plan to boost pig breeding facilities as the country prepares to bounce back from ASF. The plan will make it easier to acquire land for pig breeding and reduce ‘forbidden zones’ for pig farming by end-2020. The Chinese government will also set up 120 ‘model farms’ over the next three years with techniques and infrastructure that can be easily replicated around the country. It will also give pig farmers subsidies to build back their herds. At the same time, officials will ramp up disease control measures and ‘promote centralized professional disposal of diseased pig carcasses.’ China estimates over a million pigs to have been decimated as a result of ASF.
Mekeni Food Corp ready to go back into the market
9 December 2019 After receiving an endorsement from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meat processor Mekeni Food Corp is ready to bring its products back into the market. The company voluntarily recalled its pork products in October following reports they were contaminated with ASF. They have since taken corrective actions and undergone independent testing by Standard Global Services. After reviewing the results, the FDA announced it is allowing the redistribution of the company’s pork-based products.
Still no confirmation of ASF in North Sumatera
9 December 2019 The news about suspected ASF in North Sumatera, Indonesia has not found a bright spot, according to an industry observer. “It is odd. The government is conducting technical guidance for field extension staff on the disease, but they still won’t confirm if there is an outbreak,” he said. “The Veterinary Research Agency in the province also found the genetic material of the virus in some samples. Are they waiting until this virus spreads to Java?” he said in exasperation.
Guangdong pig slaughterhouse ordered close
6 December 2019 Local authorities ordered the closure of a pig slaughterhouse in Guangdong province after reports show it has been illegally selling and slaughtering dead and sick pigs, a report by South China Morning Post said. Nanhai Heyi Slaughterhouse was previously lauded as a model operation by the province’s agriculture department. Authorities have also ordered the inspection of all slaughterhouses in the Nanhai district. However, there was no confirmation of whether the pigs had ASF or not.
Vietnam urges control on pig smuggling in the south
6 December 2019 The Vietnamese government is urging local authorities in the south to control the movement of smuggled pigs. Allegedly, this flow of live pigs is from north Thailand and Cambodia, where farmers are selling their pigs on ASF fears. While this source of pork bears the risk of disease, it can also quell the demand for pork in the country. Pork prices in Vietnam has increased sharply in the last three weeks due to short supply. Currently, it is at USD 3.2/kg.
Philippines to implement new rules on movement of pork
6 December 2019 As part of its efforts to control the spread of ASF, the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) will implement a new zoning plan to regulate the movement of pork and pork products around the country. The new plan will divide the Philippines into compartmentalized ‘zones’. Regions will be broadly classified into a ‘free zone’ and a ‘contaminated zone’. The contaminated zone will be further divided into four subzones: protected zone, surveillance zone, buffer zone, and infected zone. The DA consulted with industry players and local governments to prepare the new plan.
Achieving high health production
Good biosecurity is essential to the high health status approach of raising swine free of specific pathogens (commonly referred to as SPF animals). These pathogens include ASF among many others. High health production creates ‘germ-poor’ environments where animals’ exposure to pathogens is minimized. The benefits are worth the effort involved in achieving a high health environment. Particularly in the finishing stage of pig production, high health status swine production has been associated with larger yields, improved feed conversion, higher growth rates, improved uniformity and lower mortality. Click here to learn how this can be achieved.
Philippines continues fight against ASF
5 December 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to work closely with industry associations and other private organizations to come up with practical solutions against ASF, DA Secretary William Dar said. While noting that less than 1% of the country’s 13 million pig herd has been infected by ASF, he added that the threat remains. “We continue to implement quarantine measures and observe the 1-7-10 protocol,” he said. He also urged the public to help the government in its efforts against ASF by reporting potential problems and not buying meat from ASF-infected pigs.
Pork prices pick up in China
4 December 2019 Pork prices in China rose on Monday, the first increase in over a month, a report by Reuters said. Prices first jumped in October to almost three times the previous year’s level after ASF killed millions of pigs and shrank the country’s hog herd significantly. As the cold weather set in, pork consumption has gone up although the meat remains in short supply. Analysts note that the prices could continue to trend up as demand will continue to pick through to the Lunar New Year in late January when meat consumption traditionally peaks.
HK considers pork imports from Southeast Asia
4 December 2019 Hong Kong is studying the possibility of importing live pigs from Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, to boost is dwindling pork supply. The city currently brings in 1700 pigs daily from China, down from the previous 4000 pigs prior to ASF hitting the mainland. Hong Kong’s Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan said the city had been in contact with authorities in Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia to express an interest in importing from those countries.
Australia says another five years for ASF vaccine
4 December 2019 Australian scientists anticipate another five years before a vaccine is developed to protect pigs from African swine fever (ASF). ASF outbreaks in East Timor has put Australia on high alert. Lab Director at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory Trevor Drew said that only a vaccine could effectively stop the ferocious spread. Without a vaccine, the country will rely on traditional methods of disease control by culling infected pigs, burying their carcasses and disinfecting farms. Its multi-million dollar pork industry includes about 2700 producers, which employ 34,000 people.
High health production after the ASF crisis
As producers continue to look for ways to climb out of the ASF crisis, an approach known as ‘high health status’ production can help swine producers meet production and economic goals while leveraging the benefits of good biosecurity. Successful application of high health status production on the farm begins with farm biosecurity and is amplified with precision nutrition strategies. Click here to learn more.
China expects pork imports to top 3mt in 2019
3 December 2019 China sees its imports of pork and pork byproducts to top 3 mt in 2019, a report by Reuters said, quoting the country’s commerce ministry. Total meat imports are estimated to exceed 6 mt. China’s meat imports have surged in response to the ASF outbreak that has cut its pig herd by about 50%. Meanwhile, CNN reported that the country’s agriculture ministry announced that the number of breeding pigs in the country has picked up slightly in October compared to the previous month, the first increase registered since April 2018.
Philippines could face tight pork supply in Q1 2020
2 December 2019 While reports of ASF outbreaks in the Philippines have slowed down, many pigs have been culled and some farms have depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, some small players have reportedly decided not to stock for fear of being hit by the virus and because of a softening in demand. As such, it is possible that at least at some point, likely in the first quarter of 2020, pork supply might be tight, an industry leader told Asian Agribiz.
Rebuilding after ASF
When ASF strikes, efforts to rebuild can begin only after the farm and its perimeter are declared completely clean. Recovery and repopulation can only commence once cleaning and disinfection of affected farms is assured. Eventually, as the disease is eliminated, repopulation efforts will begin and will require innovative approaches to rebuild swine herds. For example, given an insufficient number of gilts, feed and management practices can support producers using fattening pigs to breed gilts. Click here to learn more.
ASF spread in the Philippines slows down
29 November 2019 The spread of ASF in the Philippines seems to have slowed down, with fewer samples testing positive for the virus in recent weeks. Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ronnie Domingo said the number of ASF-related reports has dropped in the past month, indicating fewer outbreaks. The country has reported culling nearly 53,000 pigs to the OIE to prevent the spread of the disease. Dr Domingo added that with the dry season approaching, ASF cases are likely to decrease. Nonetheless, the agency will continue to intensify their control measures against ASF to prevent outbreaks.
Inspection on illegal pork to protect Bali from ASF
28 November 2019 The Bali Pig Farmers Association is urging the provincial government to strengthen inspections at the entry points to the island. This follows the entrance of illegal pork from Sumatra which is feared to carry the ASF virus. Early this month the police had foiled an attempt to smuggle 4 tons of pork from Sumatra. “It’s not the first case. We have met the governor and asked him to strengthen inspections because we are worried that illegal pork from Sumatra can be contaminated with ASF,” I Ketut Hari Suyasa, Chairman of the association told Asian Agribiz.
ASF could lead to a 10% decline in Philippine feed production
28 November 2019 Unmitigated, ASF could lead to a 10% drop in Philippine feed production next year, Terence Uygongco, President of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc told Asian Agribiz. However, a shift to other protein sources like chicken and fish would help drive feed demand. He said backyard hog raisers, who account for the bulk of commercial feed sale, would be slow to restock as compared to commercial farms that have already implemented biosecurity protocols.
Farm management practices against ASF
Proper farm management is essential in keeping pathogens like ASF away from the farm. Key practices that could be implemented in the farm include:
• Monitor and control animal movement using a unique identification and bin number.
• Require a limited time license to transport pigs between farms. The license grants permission for pigs to be transported during a specified time period.
• Limit the number of sow farms supplying piglets to a fattening farm to 12 different farms in a 16-week timeframe.
• Require intensified vehicle cleaning for pigs crossing borders.
Click here to learn more about addressing ASF in farms.
Philippine hog feed demand down 10-15% on ASF
27 November 2019 Hog feed demand in the Philippines is down by as much as 10-15%, Terence Uygongco, President of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc told Asian Agribiz. He traced the decline to ASF-related culling and early disposal of hogs due to fears of the virus’ spread. He added that live prices in Central Luzon, the region hardest hit by ASF, are also down as restrictions on the movement of pork and pork products “have driven supply up on hog rich areas like Bulacan, Tarlac and Pampanga.”
Japan may revise culling laws due to ASF
27 November 2019 Japan’s agriculture ministry seeks to allow pig culls as a preventive measure against ASF if an outbreak happens. Culling of uninfected pigs is currently not permitted by law. The ministry will submit a bill to the Diet next year to revise the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control, ministry officials said. The current law only allows preventive killings for FMD cases. A preemptive slaughter of uninfected pigs in farms near infected sites is seen as the only way to prevent an epidemic.
Lifting of pig, pork bans urged
26 November 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is urging local government units (LGU) around the country to lift bans slapped on live hogs and pork products. Speaking before members of the House of Representative committees on local government and on agriculture and food, DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan instead urged dialogue between LGU and industry stakeholders. He pointed out existing guidelines and issuances are in place and that LGUs should be following these. To date, many LGU continue to criticize the DA’s ASF guidelines, keeping their bans in place.
Global meat trade seen to rise 6.7% in 2019
25 November 2019 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts world trade of meat and meat products to reach 36 mt in 2019, up 6.7% from 2018. The growth is “principally driven by increased imports by China due to domestic tightness caused by ASF-related production losses,” FAO said it is latest Food Outlook report. The agency sees a 35% hike in China’s meat imports, with increased purchases across all meat categories. Much of the anticipated demand is expected to be met by Brazil, the EU, the US, Argentina, Thailand and Canada.
ASF inches closer to Germany
25 November 2019 ASF is inching closer to Germany after Poland confirmed 20 cases of the virus in wild pigs 100 km from the German border. The country is one of the EU’s leading pork exporters and was the leading pork supplier to China and the Philippines in 2018. Earlier this year, however, the Philippines decided to ban pork imports from Germany after a shipment by a German supplier came in containing pork from Poland, which was included in the Philippines’ ban list.
CP offers solution for pork supply in Vietnam
22 November 2019 ASF has led to an 8.8% decline in Vietnam’s pork production, latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture showed. With higher demand for pork during Tet, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong expects pork price to escalate. “CP’s view is to extend the rearing time as a solution to increase meat supply. If farmers keep the pigs for over 30 weeks to achieve 120kg, the meat supply will increase by about 30%,” said Vu Anh Tuan, Deputy General Director of CP Livestock Company.
Feed safety practices
One of the ways ASF can be spread is through unsafe feed routines, especially among smaller farms. The following feed safety practices would help producers keep ASF and other pathogens at bay.
• Prohibit the feeding of kitchen waste to animals.
• Implement feed quality management; HACCP/GMP approach for animal feed production
– Define pre-requisites of quality and microbial risks
– Define quality standards
– Regularly analyze operational and critical control points
– Benchmark with other facilities.
• Invite on-site advisors to assess and tailor strategies.
Click here to read up on other practices that can be implemented in the farm against ASF.
Vietnamese consumers urged to switch to alternative meats
22 November 2019 The escalating price of pigmeat as a result of ASF has disrupted the industry in Vietnam, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong. The government is encouraging consumers to switch to other meats and contemplating pork imports to meet the demand and tame the bullish price trend.
ASF to pull down total global meat production in 2019
21 November 2019 Global meat production will decline by 1% this year to 335 mt, the Food and Agriculture Organization forecasts in its latest Food Outlook (FAO) report. The FAO noted that this is a departure from the stable growth the sector has recorded over the past 20 years. It also indicates a sharper fall than what the agency anticipated in May, largely due to the impact of the ASF in China and its spread to several other East Asian countries.
Australia, Southeast Asia collaborates on ASF
21 November 2019 The Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) is hosting scientists from Southeast Asia for training on ASF diagnosis and prevention, ABC News reported. As well as trying to prevent the spread of ASF, AAHL is also involved in capacity building in Southeast Asia. Sri Handayani Irianingsih, a virologist from Indonesia, said that such collaboration between Australia and the region is vital. She noted that with the country preparing for an ASF outbreak, such training will help diagnose the disease quickly and help farmers control and eradicate.
Holistic approach to address ASF
Industry practitioners have noted that a holistic approach is necessary to properly address ASF. In EU nations that have battled ASF, such approach has historically included procedures for moving animals across the farm and to different sites, disease monitoring and citizen education. Click here to learn some of the procedures implemented in the EU that can be considered for implementation on Asian farms.
Indon pig farmers await statement on suspected ASF in North Sumatera
20 November 2019 Pig farmers in Indonesia are waiting for the official statement from the government on whether the death of pigs in North Sumatera is due to ASF. The number of dead pigs in the province is believed to have reached 6000 heads. At a seminar by the Solo Pig Farmers Cooperative in Central Java yesterday, a panelist from an agriculture university said the veterinary research agency in the province has performed clinical, pathological and lab tests. “As a researcher and academician I can only say from 12 samples checked, they don’t contain CSFv and PRRSv genetic materials,” he revealed.
China to investigate illegal ASF vaccines
20 November 2019 China’s Ministry of Agriculture will launch an investigation into the illegal production, sale and use of ASF vaccines in the country, Reuters reported. The move comes after online reports of their use by some farmers. The ministry has earlier warned against the use of such products, following reports that imported and homemade products were being used in China. Despite some advances reported by several research groups, to date there is no approved vaccine against the disease.
China to release pork reserves at ‘appropriate’ time
19 November 2019 The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission said it would release its stock of frozen pork reserves to the market “at an appropriate time to meet public demand,” a report by Xinhua said. With the Chinese pork industry decimated by ASF, the government also stated that it would also use funds from the central budget to boost hog production and scale up breeding farms and improve waste utilization. China is also expected to increase its imports of poultry, beef and mutton to bridge the supply gap from pork.
PIC Asia sees growing business despite ASF
19 November 2019 Genus Plc said as pork prices continue to rise in China, it has raised demand for its genetics. It noted that royalty revenues from its porcine unit, PIC, have been growing across all regions during the four months ending October 31. While the company continues to monitor the spread of the virus in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia, it expects its PIC Asia unit to “increase profits in fiscal year 2020 compared with the prior year.
China pork production to drop 10-15% further in 2020
18 November 2019 With ASF expected to continue spreading in China, the country’s pork production is likely to drop by 10-15% from 2019 levels, Rabobank said in its latest Global Animal Protein Outlook. Nevertheless, pig farms, especially large-scale farming companies, are expected to begin restocking despite the high risk of reinfection. China’s government has been implementing policies to encourage production. With prices soaring and the favorable policies, Rabobank said investments in restocking and new farms will surge beginning 2020.
Philippine pork imports down due to higher global prices
18 November 2019 The Philippines imported 254,890 tons of pork in the first nine months of 2019, down nearly 8.4% year-on-year, latest data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed. Industry leaders blamed higher pork prices in the global market due to China’s higher demand for pork imports for the decline. With over half of China’s pigs lost to ASF, the country has been scrambling to fill the gap with imports. An importer in the Philippines told Asian Agribiz that prices will continue to be high in the coming months. With the country also battling ASF, he said it is likely that shortages are forthcoming.
ASF to continue impact on global protein market in 2020
November 15, 2019 Overall production of beef, pork, and chicken in key regions will grow in 2020, but volume will remain well below pre-ASF outbreak levels, Rababonk said in its latest Global Animal Protein Outlook. ASF will continue to pull down overall growth in production and bring uncertainty to the markets. China’s pork production is seen to decline further in 2020 due to ASF, which is also expected to spread further Southeast Asia. However, Rabobank opportunities for recovery from ASF, which it says will extend through the 2020s.
Residents told not to bring pork from Timor-Leste
November 15, 2019 The local government of Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara has appealed to its residents not to bring in processed meat or frozen pork from Timor-Leste, even though prices may be lower. This is specially directed to six districts which are engaged in extensive meat trade with Timor-Leste. The government fears this could facilitate the spread of ASF into Indonesia. The local government previously issued a circular asking all regions in the province to be vigilant against the entry of the virus from Timor-Leste.
China pig industry to recover stronger, more efficient
14 November 2019 China’s pork shortage due to ASF is likely to continue until 2025, but its pig industry will likely emerge stronger and more efficient when it recovers, said research firm Gira. In a market analysis commissioned by the US’ National Pork Board, the firm predicts that China’s pork imports will peak in 2022, and then slowly decline as domestic production recovers. By 2025, China’s imports will drop as the newly built and vertically integrated Chinese pork system peaks, and prices fall.
African Swine Fever Manual released in China
14 November 2019 ASF Boehringer Ingelheim China has launched The African Swine Fever Manual. After China was hit by ASF in August 2018, the company worked with experts and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association to review relevant publications and research papers to expand an existing handbook into the new extended manual. At the launch in Nanjing, Boehringer Ingelheim China donated 500 copies of the manual to disease control agencies in Jiangsu, Hunan and Hebei provinces and local pig farmers to help curb ASF spread.
Hog prices rise to record highs in Vietnam
13 November 2019 Hog prices, and consequently pork prices, across Vietnam have been hitting all-time highs in the last two weeks. As such, consumers are now getting less pork for their money. “The price crisis is already here. Price has been predicted to be this high and will continue to rise,” Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of Dong Nai Livestock Production Association, told Asian Agribiz. “Consumers have shifted to chicken and seafood, but this will only be temporary. They will always get back to pork,” he added.
ASF feared in Indonesia
13 November 2019 Laboratory tests conducted on samples from pigs in Indonesia’s North Sumatera province point to ASF. The tests were carried out after 4000 pigs died after an outbreak of hog cholera. “Clinical symptoms and laboratory test results point to ASF, but there are also samples that are positive for hog cholera,” Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rassa, the agriculture ministry’s Director of Animal Health, told Reuters. He said the government has directed authorities to immediately bury pig carcasses and disinfect areas to prevent the virus spreading.
Philippines gets USD 4.4m to compensate pig farmers
12 November 2019 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the use of a USD 4.4m contingency fund to compensate pig farmers whose animals were culled due to ASF. The funds, which will come from the Office of the President, will be used for backyard farmers and would cover about 5% of the country’s total swine population estimated at nearly 13 million. The Department of Agriculture currently pay about USD 100 for every pig culled due to ASF.
China to shut down small slaughterhouses for ASF control
12 November 2019 China’s Ministry of Agriculture will reduce the number of small-scale abattoirs to better control ASF, a report by Reuters said. In a statement on its website, the ministry said it will start inspecting slaughterhouses in some regions by mid-November. And close those that do not meet requirements. Many small abattoirs in the countries have old facilities and still use old production techniques.
After the ASF crisis: A path forward via high health production
Swine producers in Asia stand at a crossroads with serious implications for long-term herd performance and producer profitability. Today’s ASF challenge demands aggressive biosecurity measures to bring the situation under control. In the future, swine producers will be challenged to minimize the risk of future ASF outbreaks while maintaining the biosecurity safeguards put in place during the present crisis. Trouw Nutrition’s Herman Janssen explains how an approach known as ‘high health status’ production can help swine producers meet production and economic goals while leveraging the benefits of good biosecurity. Successful application of high health status production on the farm begins with farm biosecurity and is amplified with precision nutrition strategies. Click here to read the full article.
In the aftermath of ASF and other disease outbreaks, the most efficient and secure way to implement a high health status herd is to repopulate using well-adapted animals with a high immunity status and resistance against local pathogens.
Global pork prices continue uptrend
11 November 2019 Global pork prices will continue to rise in Q4 2019 and into 2020 as markets work to balance supply and demand, Rabobank said in its Pork Quarterly Q4 report. “Despite rising economic incentives, we expect a limited global production response, as environmental and regulatory constraints, along with the threat of ASF, constrain the industry’s ability to expand,” said Christine McCracken, Senior Analyst for Rabobank. The imbalance is expected to lead to more volatile markets in the coming months.
China’s COFCO to buy USD 100m of Danish pork by 2020
11 November 2019 China’s COFCO will buy USD 100 million of pork from European pork producer Danish Crown in 2020 to help ease a domestic pork shortage due to ASF, Reuters reported. The state-owned company said it would diversify sources of pork imports and product variety and make purchases more sustainable. While Danish Crown said no volume has been agreed yet, the deal is “one of the biggest” in China in a long time.
ASF-affected countries in Asia face difficulties in replacing lost production
8 November 2019 Pig industries in ASF-affected Asian countries will face difficulties in replacing lost production, at least in the short-term, Rabobank noted in its latest Pork Quarterly Q4 Report. Without an effective vaccine, recovery in these countries will be challenging. Nevertheless, there are efforts to expand production particularly in China’s largest operations that has better biosecurity controls. Rabobank said that “successful repopulation of large commercial operations could stabilize market losses in 2020, but full recovery could take several years.” It expects production to rebound in 2021.
Philippines has culled 70,000 pigs due to ASF
8 November 2019 The Philippines has culled over 70,000 pigs due to ASF, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said. This represents 0.55% of the country’s inventory of 12.7 million pigs. Of the total culled, only a third were infected with the ASF virus. In its report to the World Organization for Animal Health, the country confirmed 40 outbreaks to date in Luzon, the bulk of which are in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces. Reildrin Morales, head of the DA’s ASF Crisis Management Team, said the local pig industry has lost nearly USD 60 million since the August this year due to ASF.
ASF gets Brazil ticket into Chinese offal market
7 November 2019 China has approved pig offal shipments from seven plants in Brazil, which could result in USD 2 million worth of shipments by 2020. Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture noted that this is the first time the country got access to the Chinese offal market. JBS SA and BRF SA are among those granted permission to start shipments immediately. As of October 2019, Brazil pork exports to China grew by 38% with revenue up 67%.
Two Malaysian restaurants serve pork from ASF-hit country
7 November 2019 Two restaurants in the Klang Valley in Malaysia were found to serve suckling pigs from Vietnam. Malaysia has banned the import of pork and pork-based products from 10 countries including Vietnam because of African swine fever. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the discovery was made during a raid on 31 October. The raids are part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of the ASF virus that could adversely affect the USD 1 billion pig farming industry here according to Mr Sim.
Global pork remains on wait-and-see mode
6 November 2019 The global pig herd is down 25% due to ASF, but pig producers remain “cautiously optimistic on the potential market demand for pork,” Rabobank said in its latest Pork Quarterly Q4 report. It noted that “the allure of potential record-breaking exports has, thus far, been outdone by the risks.” Uncertainty arising from issues like restrictive trade policies and inconsistent export demand discourages production expansion. However, Rabobank expects that a 5-10 mt global pork deficit in 2020 may give the industry enough economic incentive to increase production.
Mekeni Food Corp to trace ASF source
6 November 2019 Mekeni Food Corp in the Philippines has vowed to trace the source of the ASF virus that made it to their products. The hotdogs and skinless longganisa from the company tested positive for ASF. Mekeni voluntarily recalled all its pork-based products on October 26. Operations of its pork-based processing area have also been suspended and the facility has been cleaned and disinfected. The company said it has engaged a third-party company to swab and test the facility to make sure it is virus-free before resuming operations.
Australia bars Vietnamese traveler over pork haul
6 November 2019 Canberra has deported a 60-year-old man from Vietnam at Sydney airport for carrying 4 kg of moon cake with pork without declaring it. Australian Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the ban on most pork-containing products from ASF affected countries is to prevent the disease from reaching Australia and to protect the country’s 2700 pork producers. Last month, Australia expelled a 45-year-old Vietnamese woman for carrying more than 4.5 kg of pork. As of September, the country’s customs have seized 27 tons of pork at the airport.
DA confirms tested Mekeni products positive for ASF
5 November 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed that samples of hotdogs skinless longganisa from Mekeni Food Corp tested positive for ASF. Bureau of Animal Industry officer-in-charge Ronnie Domingo said the samples were sent by the processing company las month. He added that the DA and the Department of Health (DOH) are organizing a team to further investigate related matters. Meanwhile, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the next step in the investigations is to find the source of the Mekeni raw materials.
A quarter of the world’s pigs could die from ASF
05 November 2019 A least a quarter of the world’s pig population could die as ASF spreads further, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said. Such losses would lead to global pork shortages that would consequently jack up prices of pork and pork-related products, said OIE President Mark Schipp. He noted that while the species will not be lost, ASF is “the biggest threat to any commercial livestock of our generation.”
Visayas, Mindanao assured of pork supply
05 November 2019 Local authorities and industry stakeholders assured consumers in the Visayas and Mindanao of enough supply of pork and pork products for the coming holiday season. Rolando Tambago, President of Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperatives Cebu alone already has four big meat processors who said they will begin displaying Christmas hams by end-October. He said these processors also improved production capacities so they could also supply Luzon should the need arise.
OIE expects more ASF outbreaks
04 November 2019 The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has projected the spread of ASF to get worse in the next few months. OIE Director General Monique Eloit told Reuters that it would spread further in Asia. It has already been found in 50 countries, affecting hundreds of million pigs. She also warned that no country could consider itself immune to the disease as it had the potential to spread to all countries, even when geographically separated.
North Sulawesi anticipates entry of ASF virus
04 November 2019 The Agriculture Quarantine Agency of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province has formed a special team for preparedness and emergency towards ASF. Junaidi, who heads the agency, said the team is actively communicating about the disease to users of quarantine services and to society through different media. Together with related authorities, the agency has strengthened inspection of travelers and their goods at the Sam Ratulangi airport and seaports in the province, as well as leftovers from airplanes. Detained foods will undergo PCR testing.
Pig vet group calls for concerted efforts against ASF
01 November 2019 “When faced with a threat like ASF, we need to be together and endure,” Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners, said in response to the decision of local meat processors to temporarily stop buying local pork as raw material. Dr Lapus said that while they are not against legal imports from ASF-free country, they “want to emphasize the need to prioritize from within” and that there are many ASF-free areas in the country that can still supply the pork demand.
Singapore lifts ban on Belgian pork
01 November 2019 Singapore has lifted its ban on Belgian pork imports according to Belgian Minister of Agriculture Denis Ducarme. The ban had been in place since December 2018 when the ASF virus was detected in the province surrounding Belgium-Luxembourg. India and Vietnam recently lifted the ban from non-ASF affected Belgian regions prompting Singapore to do the same. Singapore had previously imported 482 tons of products (in 2017) from the Belgian pig industry.
Indonesian adopts more measures to prevent ASF
01 November 2019 The Agriculture Ministry in Indonesia is urging pig farmers to improve their farm biosecurity to keep ASF out. They also should implement good pig farming practices, said I Ketut Diarmita, Director General of Livestock & Animal Health. “Our responsibility is to educate them and share information on how to implement the right biosecurity and farming practices,” he added. Dr Diarmita also asked high-risk regions such as East Nusa Tenggara to strengthen their monitoring.
Philippine meat processors urged not to use local pork
31 October 2019 The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (Pampi) has urged its members to temporarily stop buying “locally produced pork as raw material to contain the spread of ASF.” Pampi spokesman Rex Agarrado said that the group believes it is safer not to buy local pork until producers can assure authorities and consumers that their product is ASF-free. It has also “decided to halt all purchases of pork materials from local producers until such time that clear and enforceable policies on movement, distribution and sale of processed pork products are in place.
East Nusa Tenggara tightens ASF preventive measures
31 October 2019 The Agriculture Quarantine Agency has installed disinfectant mats at the El Tari Airport to block the further entry of ASF. “The airport team and customs staff also check goods carried by the passengers. If they carry pork or food made of pork, these products will be detained for inspection,” said Head of the agency, Nur Hartanto. The agency also has coordinated with airlines to destroy food leftovers and waste from flights.
Ireland seeks Asian opportunities in light of ASF
31 October 2019 Ireland’s food agency Board Bia is researching opportunities for Irish pig meat in Asia as ASF spreads in the region, a report from independent.ie said. The agency’s food division wants to identify market potentials in five countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. While Thailand remains ASF-free, it is not expected to escape it. Peter Duggan of Bord Bia’s meat division said that without an ASF vaccine, “it is going to take a long time for these countries to recover,” and that “there will be ongoing opportunities” for Irish pig producers
Sarawak detects ASF in canned pork
30 October 2019 The Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) said in a statement that the African swine fever (ASF) virus has been detected in imported canned pork from China. However, no ASF infection in pigs has been reported in the state and the detection of the virus has not changed Sarawak’s ASF-free status, the department said. Following this development, the department and other agencies will be conducting checks at all supermarket and any affected products would be removed.
Vietnam tames pig price by halting exports to China
30 October 2019 The price of pigs in Vietnam has slid after two weeks of continuous increase. Live pork is currently at USD 2.36 per kg, down by USD 0.43/kg from last week’s peak price. The cause of the price reduction is the timely move by the Ministry of Agriculture to clamp down on pig exports to China. This has reduced concerns about supply shortages and reduced the risk of ASF spread which both Vietnam and China have yet to control.
Indonesia introduces technical measures to keep ASF out
30 October 2019 Indonesia’s Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health has been working hard to keep the African swine fever (ASF) out. I Ketut Diarmita, Director General of the directorate said his team has prepared and performed technical measures including quick detection, swift reporting and proper handling. “This disease has spread to many countries and there is no vaccine to control it. It’s a big threat to our pig population of around 8.5 million heads,” he said.
Recovery of China’s pork industry to take 5-7 years
29 October 2019 China’s pork industry will take at least 5-7 years to recover from ASF, global financial institution INTL FCStone said. “There are so many variables, such as when researchers can develop a vaccine. That would certainly impact the recovery. But one way or another, it’s going to take time,” said INTL FCStone Chief Commodities Economist Arlan Suderman said. One of the biggest obstacles in recovery is convincing producers to return to production, with a high risk of reinfection and the losses observed in past year. Many farmers have substituted chicken for pigs, while others have abandoned livestock farming altogether.
Conduct a feedmill scan
Critical raw materials and feed hygiene conditions in the feedmill may introduce pathogen risk to the swine farm. At the mill, pathogens may be present in both raw materials and finished feed. Trouw Nutrition developed a Feedmill SCAN to safeguard against microbial pathogens and mycotoxin risks infiltrating raw materials and feed. The Feedmill SCAN includes technologies to define a microbial, mycotoxin and efficiency blueprint; this includes an analysis of raw materials to test for the presence of Salmonella, yeast, molds, and potential pathogens at critical control points during processing. Based on the scan, the need for feed safety and quality measures will be identified. Part of the solution can be buffered and synergistic organic acid application and dosing equipment in combination with the right hydrothermal treatment. In Asia’s warm, humid climate, controlling for temperature and moisture levels during feed processing can be especially challenging, so this holistic approach combining ingredient analysis, hydrothermal treatment and buffered and synergistic organic acid interventions at the feedmill provides an important solution to fight pathogenic risks. Click here to learn Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools against ASF.
ASF pulls down pig prices in the Philippines
29 October 2019 As ASF continues to spread, farm prices of pigs in Luzon, Philippines have fallen from USD 2.24-2.50/kg in late August to USD 1.56-1.95/kg in the third week of October. Industry leaders told Asian Agribiz that demand for pork is down, with consumers shifting to chicken at least temporarily. Nevertheless, retail prices in both wet markets and supermarkets remained the same as pre-ASF levels.
Decline in pig herd cause for lower feed import
29 October 2019 With more than 5.5 million pigs culled due to ASF in Vietnam, import of livestock feed and raw materials has declined. In nine months, Vietnam’s feed import has reduced by 2.2% over the same period last year. The Ministry of Agriculture expects feed for 2019 to contract by 4%.
Vietnam needs 5 years to reestablish pig herd after ASF
28 October 2019 ASF has caused an 8.3% decline in Vietnam’s pig population. While the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is encouraging restocking, experts say it is not feasible based on repeated failures recently. Localities are still hesitant to lift the ban on re-stocking, especially in farms that have been affected. “Even with the correct culling process, it will take at least five years to restock in these areas,” Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of the Dong Nai Livestock Production Association told Asian Agribiz.
Kemin offers in-feed solution against ASF
28 October 2019 Kemin Industries, in partnership with the National Institute of Veterinary Research (NIVR) of Vietnam, has claimed the effect of Sal Curb RM E Liquid (Sal Curb) against the ASF virus (ASFv) when applied to animal feed. With the unique combination of formaldehyde and organic acids, Sal Curb disrupts the viral envelope of the ASFv and inhibits its viricidal activity. “Together with increased biosecurity, Sal Curb can help reduce the potential risk posed by ASFv,” KinKen Chew, Product Manager told Asian Agribiz.
Processed meats test positive for ASF
28 October 2019 The Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry confirmed that some processed meat products have tested positive for ASF. The products included popular fares like hotdogs, longganisa and tocino. The announcement came just days after the Department of Interior and Local Government directed local government units, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, to lift their bans on processed meat and pork products originating from Luzon. The Agriculture Department said the products were produced by a medium-scale meat processor in Central Luzon but did not name the company.
Retailers warned about online sale of pork products
25 October 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture has warned online sellers not to sell pork products coming from ASF-infected countries. Agriculture Secretary William Dar called on consumers to report instances to authorities. He said those caught selling will be banned and will face severe consequences. Government authorities such as Cebu province’s ASF Task Force are now monitoring online platforms to prevent these sales from happening.
Philippine feed group sees lower feed wheat imports
25 October 2019 Higher local production in Q4 2019 and the first half of 2020 and lower hog feed demand due to ASF will likely lead to lower feed wheat imports. Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc President Terence Uygongco told Asian Agribiz this would be for the 2018/19 marketing year. Reacting to a USDA forecast that feed wheat imports will fall by 500k tons due to a 10% reduction in hog feed demand, he said it is still too early for such a forecast to be made since there are other factors that could affect import volume.
Malaysia confident ASF outbreak can be prevented
25 October 2019 A simulation exercise aimed at increasing the level of awareness of African swine fever (ASF) among the authorities and pig farmers, and facilitating better coordination among agencies, was conducted in Malaysia recently in the event of an outbreak. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the chances of an outbreak could be minimized if good biosecurity and precautionary measures are taken. This include measures such as disinfecting all lorries going into the farms, minimizing visitors and avoiding swill feed
Protect water quality
Farm practices such as burying pigs in the ground can contribute to pathogens being transmitted via rainwater run-off. Similarly, disposing of carcasses in rivers can also facilitate transmission. ASF contamination can infiltrate water and the dose of virus required to infect water is quite low, making sanitizing procedures a must. Combining chlorination with an organic acid to keep the pH low and maintaining water oxidation reduction potential (650 mV) can help protect water quality. Click here to get learn more about Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools to prevent ASF.
Smuggling of infected hogs spreading ASF virus
24 October 2019 Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar has warned that the agency will file cases against hog raisers and traders caught smuggling hogs from ASF-infected areas into virus-free areas. He said this illegal practice is contributing to the continued spread of the virus, which is said to be moving northward from the initial ground zero in Rizal province. He called on all stakeholders to work together to contain the virus and control its spread for the good of the industry.
Mavin plans to support pig re-stocking in Vietnam
24 October 2019 Mavin Group has secured its 2000 GGP, 4000 GP and 23,000 breeding sows from the ASF virus. “It is all thanks to strict biosecurity,” said Dao Manh Luong, Mavin’s CEO. Mavin is planning a supply of about 10,000 sows, 60,000-70,000 piglets, for farmers in the North and North Central region as they commence restocking. “I would like to remind farmers that when they decide to restock, they should implement strict biosecurity, or face more loss,” he added
ASF hits two more Philippine provinces
23 October 2019 Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar has confirmed that two more provinces have been hit by ASF. Pigs from two barangays in Dasmariñas, Cavite and a municipality in Nueva Ecija have tested positive. Mr Dar said the infected animals were culled and the necessary protocols to contain the outbreak has been implemented. He said national and local authorities have been vigilant in monitoring the spread of the virus, but efforts are being undermined by unscrupulous producers and traders who continue to defy restrictions on the movement of infected animals and products.
Pork price reaches new high in Vietnam
23 October 2019 The price of pork in Vietnam has hit a new record recently. From October 8-10, the price rose to USD 3.02/kg from USD 2.58/kg, and the momentum is expected to continue. Price increases are seen in all markets, and mostly in traditional markets. In supermarkets, the price increase ranges from USD 0.65-0.86/kg depending on cuts. Predicting the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working on the solutions to tame the price. This includes importing, restocking, and pushing production of alternative animal protein.
South Korea targets to kill wild boars to control ASF
23 October 2019 South Korea has sent military snipers and civilian hunters to its northern border to eliminate virus-carrying pigs wild boars encroaching from North Korea. Earlier in October, five wild boars found dead near the border tested positive for ASF, hinting that the virus spilled over from the north, where unofficial reports indicate the disease spreading out of control. The government will also use thermal vision drones to search for pigs infected with ASF near the civilian control line, a buffer region near the strip of land dividing the Korean peninsula.
Destroy and dispose of diseased animals
Diseased animals must be destroyed, and deceased animals must be properly disposed of to protect biosecurity. Unfortunately, the practice in many parts of Asia has been to move diseased hogs to market which actually speeds up spread of the ASF virus. The spread of ASF must usher in new methods for disposing of animals. Click here on to read about Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools to prevent ASF.
ASF seen to pull down feed consumption in the Philippines
22 October 2019 The ASF outbreak in the Philippines will likely result in a 10% reduction in hog feed demand, the USDA said a report on the country’s feed and grain supply. This in turn will lead to a drop in the country’s feed wheat imports by 500,000 tons in marketing year 2018/19 to 7.1 million tons. In June 2019, the Philippines imposed safeguard and biosecurity measures for plant-based feed products from ASF-declared countries.
DLD urged to clarify culling of pigs
21 October 2019 Around 50 pig farmers in Thailand’s northern province of Phayao have given the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) two weeks to clarify prevention measures against ASF. This followed the culling of 400 pigs in Phayao without any proven test for ASF. The group wants the government to stop culling pigs until the prevention measures are clarified. They are also seeking compensation for culling without the ASF test.
China pork prices up 70% year on year
21 October 2019 China’s pork prices are up nearly 70% from the same period last year, data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed. With pork accounting for about 70% of the country’s meat consumption, the price rise pushed up Chinese inflation to 3% in September from 2.8% the month before. According to CNN, the country’s pig herd has shrunk by some 130 million pigs since the ASF outbreak began in August 2018. The higher prices are forcing some Chinese consumers to switch to other protein sources.
Vietnam, which has been largely self-sufficient in pork, is likely to see pork production down by about 550,000 tons in 2019 due to ASF. The country’s reduced sow population is also expected to further pressure production by another 5% or 100,000 tons in 2020.
Vietnam works on measures to tame pork price
18 October 2019 ASF is expected to drive pork shortage in Vietnam in the next three months. The supply-demand gap is about 3-4%, equivalent to 200,000 tons, according to the Department of Planning. The price of live pigs in the country is increasing sharply, driven by the fear of pork shortage and increasing demand from China. “We have to consider importing to meet market demand,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ha Cong Tuan. The Ministry of Agriculture previously promoted raising poultry production by 15% and beef and dairy cattle by 5% to compensate for pork shortage.
Guard against transport transmission
Contaminated vehicles and logistic systems are blamed for 90% of ASF virus spreading. Disinfecting becomes paramount to proper biosecurity. Disinfectant should always be changed daily and formulated with less organic matter and the proper ingredient concentrations. The proper amount of disinfectants should be applied for an extended time to deliver results. Click here to read up on Trouw Nutrition’s seven preventive tools against ASF.
Philippine meat processors could lose USD 776m on ASF scare
18 October 2019 Philippine meat processors see losses of up to USD 776 million this Christmas if the government fails to finalize guidelines on the movement of Luzon-produced processed meats. Many provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, and even in Luzon, have imposed bans on Luzon-produced processed meats due to fears of ASF. The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc said these bans are preventing processors from moving their products even though the country is now in the peak season for processed meat products.
Bans to lead to ham shortage in Visayas & Mindanao
16 October 2019 The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (Pampi) forecasts a shortage of Christmas hams in the Visayas and Mindanao (Vismin) this year, no thanks to local bans on pork products from Luzon due to fears of ASF. Pampi Vice President Jerome Ong said that while both regions have ham production capabilities, their total production will not be enough for the regions’ needs “unless the ban on Luzon-produced pork-based processed meats is rationalized.” According to Pampi, the Vismin region account for about 35-40% of total processed meat sales annually.
Protecting pigs against human transmission of ASF
People are often surprised to learn that humans are the highest risk for carrying ASF onto the farm. Although ASF is not transmittable from animals to humans, it can spread quickly from humans to animals. The disease may also spread via contaminated objects including equipment on the farm as well as through food. Because ASF can spread orally and live up to six months in meat, do not allow people to bring pork onto the farm. Swill feeding also facilitates the spread of the disease through food scraps and contact with wild boars who can perpetuate disease spread. Click here on to read more about Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools to prevent ASF.
Thai public urged to stay calm over ASF fears
16 October 2019 Thailand’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director General Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai has asked citizens not to panic over the ASF. He affirmed that ASF can only spread among animals. There has been no report of any transmission to humans. He said however, that people should also refrain from touching or butchering infected animals for food. “You cannot catch ASF from eating pork. However, you should inform the DLD of any unusual pig deaths,” he said.
Australia bans Vietnam traveler for bringing in cooked pork meat
16 October 2019 Australia has refused entry to a traveler from Vietnam after her luggage was found stuffed with food, including cooked pig meat. Australian Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the woman failed to declare the 10kg of food products she was carrying. With neighboring Timor-Leste hit by the virus, fears have been raised that ASF could enter Australia, including through arriving travelers and mailed parcels. Ms Mckenzie said these are “increasing risk of incursion, and that’s why we’ve had to step up our detections.”
Vietnam’s pig farmers reluctant to restock
15 October 2019 Pig prices in Vietnam are increasing sharply as pork supply shrink. However, most farmers remain reluctant to restock as the ASF epidemic continues. Many farms that tried to restock have failed due to reinfection. Meanwhile, some of the affected farmers have converted their pig pens into fishponds, or duck pens, which make it difficult to convert back. “We’re likely to miss the Tet next year because we won’t have any pigs to sell. We’ll be halting our production for at least two years,” a farmer who used to raise 700 pigs told Asian Agribiz.
ASF outbreak reported in Gansu, China
15 October 2019 China reported on Sunday the latest ASF outbreak in the northwestern province of Gansu. The cases occurred in a breeding cooperative in Dingxi City, with 265 of the 287 infected pigs dying. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said local authorities have culled all remaining live pigs in the cooperative and “blocked and disinfected the area among its other emergency measures.” Transport of live pigs in and out of the area has also been banned. Since China reported its first ASF outbreak in August 2018, the government has declared a Level II emergency response according to the requirements of Emergency Plan for ASF. This involves local governments taking the initiative to block the transport of pigs to and from infected areas, culling and disinfection.
Philippines to pay backyard farms USD 100 per culled pig
15 October 2019 The Philippines will pay its backyard farmers USD 100/head for pigs culled due to ASF. Previously the amount was about USD 60. Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the government will also impose ‘lockdown’ procedures in the affected provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, cordoning validated areas as ‘ASF-infected zones’ to control the movement of pigs and pork products. They will also apprehend and file cases against producers and traders caught transporting, selling, buying or slaughtering ASF-infected pigs and selling ASF-tainted pork products.
ASF could claim 25% of Vietnam’s pig herd in 2019
14 October 2019 Vietnam will likely lose over 7 million of its pigs, including 1m sows, by end-2019, Rabobank said in its latest global ASF update. Consequently, pork production may fall 20% (550,000 tons) year-on-year in 2019. The reduced sow numbers will further pressure pork production, which could go down by another 5% or 100,000.
A third of culled pigs in the Philippines tested positive for ASF
14 October 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) said around 12,000 pigs of the culled pigs in ASF-infected areas tested positive for ASF. The number represents a third of the total culled so far. Meanwhile, the DA has received ASF incident reports from several areas in Bulacan and Pampanga, and validated disease incidence in three more areas in Quezon City. DA Secretary William Dar said he has deployed additional staff to support laboratory operations, and airport and checkpoint inspections, as part our elevated response in ASF- affected areas.
Pork price taps 3-year high in Vietnam
14 October 2019 Pork prices in Vietnam is on an uptrend. Between October 8 and 10, the price jumped from USD 2.58/kg to USD 3.02/kg, the highest recorded in three years. The trend is expected to continue as price increases have been seen in all markets, especially traditional markets. In supermarkets, retail price has gone up by USD 0.65-0.86/kg depending on cuts. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which predicted the situation, is working on the solutions to tame prices, including importing, restocking, and pushing production of other livestock.
South Korea culls about 115,000 pigs due to ASF
14 October 2009 Since it reported the first case of ASF in mid-September, South Korea has culled about 115,000 pigs. It has also attached ‘highest alert’ status to its campaign to stamp out the disease. The campaign includes ramping up disinfection measures and putting a temporary nationwide ban on the transport of hogs and related livestock. As of October 13, OIE data show that South Korea has had 16 pigs die from ASF so far.
Philippines to implement zoning to control ASF spread
11 October 2019 The Philippine government and the country’s hog raisers plan to implement a zoning plan that they hope will control the spread and contain the ASF virus. The red zone is the infected area, where containment and eradication are being conducted. Adjacent to it is the pink zone, where animals will be under surveillance and blood samples will be tested regularly. The yellow zone includes areas near the red zone but have had no incidents. These will also be under surveillance. The light green zone comprises areas in northern and southern Luzon which have had no incidents. The dark green zone makes up the protected areas, which include the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as the island provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
Thai pork exports to Hong Kong peak
11 October 2019 Thailand has significantly increased its exports to Hong Kong, as the island suffers from one of the worst outbreaks of ASF. The Thai Swine Raisers Association’s figures report that in the first six months of the year alone, Thailand shipped 895 tons of pork to Hong Kong, “This accounts for about 63% of Thai pork exports to Hong Kong in 2018 or about 1408 tons.” The association estimates that Thailand will ship 2500 tonnes of pork to Hong Kong this year.
Veterinarian group warns against ASF vaccine
11 October 2019 The Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) have issued a statement warning against ASF vaccination, noting that there is no effective ASF vaccine yet in the market. The group made the statement after unconfirmed reports of ASF vaccines from Vietnam has entered the Philippines. “The PCSP will be the first to inform industry stakeholders when a good vaccine is available, and it must through the legal process of assessment and validation through the Bureau of Animal Industry. We do not support ‘smuggling’ of unregistered biological materials,” the group said.
China’s CP Pokphand Co brings in breeders from Denmark
11 October 2019 CP Pokphand Co, China’s fifth leading pig producer, brought in 906 breeding pigs from Denmark in August, a report by Reuters said. This is the first import of live pigs into China since it reported its first ASF outbreak last year. The animals spent a month in quarantine in Xiangyang, Hubei province. With over half of China’s pig herd lost to ASF, producers are now either building new farms or restocking previously infected ones. CP CEO Bai Shanlin told Reuters they plan to raise 10 million pigs annually by 2021, up from 4 million currently.
Timor-Leste teams up with Australia to investigate ASF
10 October 2019 The Agriculture Ministry of Timor-Leste said it has teamed up with its Australian counterpart to investigate the spread of ASF in the country. “Since September 19, the ministry has gathered information about the death of 400 pigs,” the ministry said on October 3. ASF virus is not harmful to humans but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs that is almost always fatal. There is no antidote or vaccine and the only known way to prevent the disease from spreading is a mass cull of affected animals. Click here to view our ASF updates.
Less hams for Filipinos this Christmas
By Isa Q Tan, Asian Pork’s Manila-based Editor
Christmas hams are tradition in the Philippines, but there are fears there might be shorter supply and higher prices this year as some ham producers announce plans to reduce or stop ham production this season. Jerome Ong, whose family own CDO Foodsphere Inc, said the company will reduce ham production by 15-20% this year. Another industry observer told Asian Agribiz that one manufacturer said they will not be producing hams at all this season. The decision stemmed in part from local government units banning entry of processed meats due to fears of ASF.
Pork sales in supermarket still stable
10 October 2019 While canned pork manufacturers have cited a slowdown in demand for their products, a slowdown in sales for pork have not been felt in the supermarkets, Steven Cua, President of Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, told Asian Agribiz. He added however that price for dressed chicken and beef are “unusually high at this moment.” While other factors could be in play, Mr Cua said it might also be “a consequence of how ASF is affecting the consumer’s avoidance of pork,” as many customers are still confused about the disease.
Malaysia confident ASF outbreak can be prevented
10 October 2019 A simulation exercise aimed at increasing the level of awareness of African swine fever (ASF) among the authorities and pig farmers, and facilitating better coordination among agencies, was conducted in Malaysia recently in the event of an outbreak. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the chances of an outbreak could be minimized if good biosecurity and precautionary measures are taken. This include measures such as disinfecting all lorries going into the farms, minimizing visitors and avoiding swill feed.
Laos reports new ASF outbreaks
9 October 2019 Laos has reported four new outbreaks of ASF in the three southeastern provinces of Attapeu, Champasak and Sekong. According to the OIE report, of the 1514 susceptible pigs, 407 tested positive resulting in 407 deaths. The remaining 1107 pigs were destroyed. Laos reported its first ASF outbreak in the southern province of Saravane. To date, Laos has lost nearly 12,000 pigs to ASF, with 4656 deaths due to ASF and the rest culled as preventive measure.
ASF can survive transshipment journeys up to 30 days
9 October 2019 A team of veterinary researchers at Kansas State University have shown that the ASF virus can survive a simulated 30-day transoceanic voyage in contaminated plant-based feed and ingredients. The team headed by Megan Niederwerder at the College of Veterinary Medicine demonstrated that the ASF virus in feed had a half-life of 9.6 to 14.2 days when environmental conditions in transshipment were simulated. The team warned countries to be vigilant about imported feed sources.
Smuggled meat blamed for ASF entry
9 October 2019 Philippine veterinarians and swine experts believe ASF entered the country through smuggled unprocessed and processed meat products. Leftovers resulting from these products were collected by backyard hog raisers and used as swill to feed their pigs. Backyard farmers in Rizal province, where the first cases were reported, admitted to the practice. Both the government and the industry have been discouraging swill feeding. Instead, they suggest that alternative ingredients such as rice bran, root crops, bananas, among others, be used instead.
Malaysia airports beef up security on ASF fears
9 October 2019 Travelers from countries plagued with African swine fever (ASF) will be subject to more stringent checks at international airports in Malaysia. This is to prevent cross border transmission of the virus. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said they would be checked by officers from the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services for any products containing pork, which if found, would be seized.
Acidification of drinking water an important tool
ASF continues to wreak havoc in Asia and to help producers mitigate the risks, Trouw Nutrition recommend seven preventive tools including acidification of drinking water. High quality water is not only necessary for animal health and performance but may also help prevent the spread of ASF virus to pigs through water. Water quality may be compromised by microbiological and chemical risk factors, as well as practices on the farm. Using a water acidifier to reduce the pH of the drinking water below 4 and keep it stable may support biosecurity on the farm. The ASF virus is inactivated by a pH less than 3.9 or above 11.5 in a serum-free medium. Even when ASF is not present, high bacterial challenges from contaminated water could affect pigs’ health and performance. Researchers know that pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella and Clostridium struggle at pH levels lower than 4.5. Thus, a drinking water acidifier may support defensive actions to guard against these pathogens. Click here to see the complete list of tools.
Thailand’s border security tightened following ASF alert
8 October 2019 Thailand’s pig industry is teaming up with the government to establish 50 checkpoints along its border with Myanmar to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever. The checkpoints will be manned by authorities from the Agriculture Ministry, Interior Ministry and the Army. Antiseptic spray will be used to douse all trucks carrying livestock, including cattle, poultry and even feeds before they enter Thailand. Fear intensified in September following the spread of the disease in Myanmar.
ASF to pull down Philippine pork production by 1.5% in 2020
8 October 2019 The Philippines could see its pork production down by 1.5% next year due to ASF, forecast Fitch Solutions, a unit of the Fitch Group. With backyard farms making up 60% of the pig industry, the disease could continue spreading in the coming months, it added. ASF tends to spread quickly among backyard farms, and this places the industry at risk. “Farmers are unlikely to begin rebuilding herds . . . while the epidemic is still ongoing, and even when outbreaks subside, it can take up to a year for new animals to be ready for slaughter,” Fitch Solutions explained.
Fear of shortage drives up meat prices in Vietnam
8 October 2019 In the early days of October, meat prices throughout Vietnam increased sharply. The trend is expected to continue to the yearend due to fear of shortage of pork, especially during the Tet holiday. Some players revealed that demand from China has also risen, although trading remains unofficial trans-border export. A report by the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development said ASF caused 5.2 million pigs, about 12% of the country’s herd, to be culled.
Australian pig industry under threat ASF
8 October 2019 Now that ASF has hit Timor-Leste, Australia’s USD 5 billion pig industry is starting to feel the heat. With Timor-Leste located less than 700km from Australia’s northern border, authorities are stepping up border controls to keep the virus out. Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that another possible way the virus could hit Australia is through meat packages sent to international students by their families overseas, including countries hit by ASF.
Consumer misconception on ASF remains
7 October 2019 Despite efforts to educate the public that ASF does not affect humans, some consumers have decided to refrain from eating pork. Asian Agribiz spoke to some wet market retailers who said sales have slackened over the past month. However, both the government and the local pig industry are continuing their informational campaign and have called on local media for more responsible reporting. Meanwhile, farm price of live pigs has also seen a decline, from between USD 2.13-2.42/kg in the first week of September to USD 1.84-2.13/kg in the first week of October.
ASF could claim 25% of Vietnam’s pig herd in 2019
7 October 2019 Vietnam will likely lose over 7 million of its pigs, including 1 m sows, by end-2019, Rabobank said in its latest global ASF update. Consequently, pork production may fall 20% (550,000 tons) year-on-year in 2019. The reduced sow number will further pressure pork production, which could go down by another 5% or 100,000 tons in 2020. Hog prices are expected to hit USD 2.15-2.58/kg by yearend and will rise further next year on supply shortages despite lower expected consumption.
Herd and production losses due to ASF to continue in Asia
7 October 2019 All indications point toward ASF hitting more areas in Asia thus losses will continue next year. “The impacts of ASF across Asia are likely to be just as challenging as they have been in China, and we expect to see herd and production losses growing as we move into 2020,” said Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist – Animal Protein at Rabobank. “At the same time, price levels in China – for pigs and pork, as well as for other proteins – keep climbing, and China’s structural shortage of protein is becoming clearer.”
US sees growth potential for pork exports to Vietnam, Philippines
7 October 2019 US pork exporters see potential growth in Vietnam and the Philippines, both of which have been hit by ASF. While the Philippines is just starting to feel the impact of ASF, Vietnam has already seen massive losses in its pig industry. As such, processors who generally use domestic pork products “are now looking to import raw materials,” said Travis Arp, Senior Director at the US Meat Export Federation. He added that “the US is very well positioned to be a good, consistent supplier for their businesses.”
China pork meat output to drop 25% in 2019
4 October 2019 China’s pig herd is down 50% year-on-year for the first eight months of the year, and consequently its pork meat production is seen to fall 25% for the year, Rabobank said in its latest global update on ASF. It added that production might even be lower in the first half of 2020. However, total herd loss for 2019 is seen to top at 55% due to government control measures and reduced farm numbers. China’s government is currently encouraging restocking by giving incentives, despite the risks of ASF re-contamination.
Biosecurity practices to keep pathogens off the farm
To keep pathogens like ASF off the farm, educating farm personnel on biosecurity processes and procedures is essential. But learning must be put into practice. Herman Janssen and Suparlark Nuntawan Na Ayudhya of Trouw Nutrition note some of these practices include:
– Restrict and enforce non-essential personnel’s access to the farm;
– Regulate visitors’ access to the farm with ‘cooling off’ patterns between visits;
– Mandate showering and hygiene protocols for all visitors entering/exiting the farm;
– Clean and disinfect all vehicles entering/leaving the farm;
– Monitor workers’ body temperature and health status (a body temperature reading above 37.7 degrees C and/or illness will result in denied access for a specified period of time);
– Establish sanitation procedures for all apparel and equipment used by workers entering/exiting the production house;
– Ensure the feedmill follows good manufacturing and quality assurance protocols.
Click here to read the full article.
China feed consumption down but will rebound
4 October 2019 With massive herd losses due to ASF, China’s feed consumption is down sharply in 2019. In its latest global ASF update, Rabobank predicts that overall feed consumption will fall by 17%, with hog consumption plunging 40%, for the year. However, the bank noted that China’s hog feed usage will rise by 5% in 2020, as the hog industry rebuilds. It is also gaining from higher consumption from other segments. In 2019 and 2020, hog feed’s share in China’s feed pie is seen to fall to 39% and 38% respectively, with poultry feed gaining share.
Proper disinfection important to address ASF
4 October 2019 The ASF virus is a complex virus but it is possible to create an environment via disinfection where its survival capacity is reduced. At the 23rd Pinoy Pork Challenge organized by the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP), Angel Manabat of the PCSP said that for a disinfectant to be fully effective it is critical to “remove all organic material with alkaline detergent, allow time for drying before applying disinfectant, and ensuring proper time of exposure. He said farms should follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding concentration and provide personnel protective equipment.
Thailand on high ASF alert
3 October 2019 Thailand has designated 24 provinces as “surveillance areas” for African swine fever and ordered strict animal controls in hopes of preventing an outbreak. The country has been on high alert since outbreaks in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia were reported. Earlier this month, the Thai government ordered culling of 200 pigs as preventive action after two pigs died mysteriously in the northern province of Chiang Rai, 20 km from the Myanmar border but they turned out not ASF-infected according to agriculture officials. Strict monitoring along the borders areas will continue.
Protect water quality
While ASF continues to spread across Asia, many producers are looking for ways to avoid infection and eventually repopulate their swine farms. To help mitigate these risks, Trouw Nutrition recommend seven preventive tools including the protection of water quality: Farm practices such as burying pigs in the ground can contribute to pathogens being transmitted via rainwater run-off. Similarly, disposing of carcasses in rivers can also facilitate transmission. ASF contamination can infiltrate water and the dose of virus required to infect water is quite low, making sanitizing procedures a must. Combining chlorination with an organic acid to keep the pH low and maintaining water oxidation reduction potential (650 mV) can help protect water quality. Click here to see the complete list of seven tools.
ASF to tip the scales in Philippine pig industry
3 October 2019 As the Philippines grapples with ASF, some see a rebalanced local pig industry in the future. Several industry stakeholders told Asian Agribiz at the 23rd Pinoy Pork Challenge held yesterday that in the wake of ASF, the industry will see more expansion in the commercial sector. “ASF will hit the backyard sector hardest and because of lack of resources, many may not be able to return,” one industry practitioner said. Currently, the backyard sector accounts for about 60-65% of the industry.
Restrictions on movement of meat and meat products ‘unfortunate’
3 October 2019 As ASF spreads in several areas in Luzon island in the Philippines, many local government units, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, have issued their own orders restricting the movement of pigs, pork and pork products in and out of their jurisdictions. However, these orders contradict directives from the Department of Agriculture regarding animal and product movement. Such moves are “unfortunate,” Jess Cham, President of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, told Asian Agribiz, noting that many of the policies “not science-based. In the end they are just depriving their constituents access to meat and meat products without really protecting their hog farmers.”
South Korea culls over 15,000 pigs over ASF
2 October 2019 Since September 16, South Korea has culled over 15,000 pigs due to the ASF virus. According to reports from the World Organization for Animal Health however, of the total susceptible pigs, there were only 26 cases and 11 deaths. The rest were culled as preventive measure. All cases have been reported in Gyeonggi province and in adjacent Incheon Metropolitan City.
Feed sales in Philippines down in September
2 October 2019 Feeds sales fell in the Philippines in September partly on ASF fears, Terence Uygongco, President of the Philippine Feed Millers Association told Asian Agribiz. Hog feeds account for more than half of commercial feed sales in the country. “We’ve seen reports that feed sales suddenly softened last month, as pig producers worry that ASF may hit their farm and they are better off selling their animals ahead,” he noted, adding the consumer sentiment tends toward refraining from eating pork for now.
CP says business not affected by ASF
2 October 2019 CP Foods insists that ASF has had no adverse effect on its business. CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert said it has not impacted the company’s targets thanks to business diversification and its balanced proportion of meat products. “Chicken and pork availability in the Thai market is unchanged, on top of chicken eggs, ducks, sausages and ready-to-eat products. The recent drop in pork prices is due to seasonally weak demand and the dumping of pork supplies on concerns about ASF, but current prices are still above the production cost,” he remarked.
Thailand continues vigilance against ASF
1 October 2019 With its neighboring countries already affected by ASF, Thailand’s government and pig producers are cooperating on proactive prevention to keep the virus away, Metta Makhanon, a swine consultant in Thailand, told Asian Agribiz. She explained that if there is a suspected case “we will do stamping out while collected samples will be sent to government laboratory to confirm by qPCR.” Dr Metta added that the private sector bought and slaughtered all healthy pigs around the suspected case near the border line in Chiang Rai to create the buffer zone in the province and other risk areas.
US funds ASF diagnosis equipment for Vietnam
1 October 2019 The US has funded equipment valued at USD 800,000 for detection and diagnosis of ASF. US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that ASF is one of the biggest problems in Vietnam today and this is also one of the US concerns regarding cooperation between the two countries. In addition to the equipment, the US has also sent a team of experts to conduct field assessments and status prevention efforts in various localities.
ASF hits Timor Leste
30 September 2019 Timor Leste became the 10th country in Asia to be hit by ASF. Earlier this month, following many cases of illness and death in domestic pigs in the country’s capital of Dili, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) sent samples from infected pigs to Australia. Results confirmed that 41% of the samples were ASF-positive. The report to the World Organization for Animal Health said of the 405 cases, all have died. There are about 400,000 domestic pigs in Timor Leste, many of which are raised in small households whose income depend on domestic pigs.
Five million pigs killed, record high pork import in Vietnam
30 September 2019 Since it was first reported in February this year, ASF has wiped out 7% of Vietnam’s pig population. The numbers are likely to go up. Meanwhile, pork imports have reached 11,700 tons in 7 months, 3.7 times higher than the previous year, said the Department of Agro-processing and Market Development. Some players see the growing exports is due to the price difference between imported pork and local pork, as well as the growing preference for frozen pork over fresh pork due to ASF fears. This in turn has created pressure to local producers.
ASF knocks CP Pokphand profit in Vietnam
30 September 2019 A 23% drop in profit over the first six months of the year at Hong Kong-based CP Pokphand Co Ltd has been attributed to reduced swine prices in Vietnam. Profit for the period was USD 82 million. Total sales over the period increased 2% to nearly USD 3.24 billion boosted by better performance in China. Looking ahead, the company’s directors said that in view of market uncertainties, especially animal protein prices, in China and Vietnam, they remain cautious for the second half of 2019.
Seven strategies in ASF prevention
While ASF continues to spread across Asia, many producers are looking for ways to avoid infection and eventually repopulate their swine farms. To do so, internal and external prevention must be the starting point. Several external factors that may allow pathogens to enter the farm include conditions at the feed mill, vehicles and visitors entering the farm. Internal factors that can introduce ASF risk include production practices and behaviors, such as disposal of animal carcasses and lax biosecurity practices. To help mitigate these risks, Trouw Nutrition offers the following strategies:
1. Conduct a feedmill scan
2. Acidify drinking water
3. Protect water quality
4. Conduct a farm score
5. Destroy and dispose of diseased animals
6. Protect against human transmission
7. Guard against transport transmission
Click here to see the complete list of seven preventative tools.
Vietnam calm amid prospect of pork shortage
27 September 2019 With the ASF epidemic ongoing, Vietnam is forecast to lack some 500,000 tons of pork by the end of 2019. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said there is no need to worry about the year-end supply as China, despite the high price of pork there, has tightened imports from Vietnam. This, combined with slowed domestic consumption and the abundance of alternative proteins such as poultry and beef, has given players preparation time for Tet Holiday, when the demand is expected to increase.
South Korea reports more ASF outbreaks
27 September 2019 South Korea has reported its sixth ASF outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Since the first outbreak was reported last week, 19 cases have been reported, with 10 deaths reported and 12,488 culled and destroyed to prevent the spread of the virus. Five of the outbreaks were reported in pig farms in Gyeonggi province and one in Incheon. Authorities have yet to discover the source of the outbreaks.
Biosecurity becomes norm in era of ASF
26 September 2019 Vietnamese pig producers have learnt the crucial role played by biosecurity in pig production, especially in during epidemics such as ASF. The Department of Livestock Production (DLP) said that farms that have done well in biosafety have kept their farms unaffected by the deadly virus. DLP Deputy Director Nguyen Van Trong noted an increasing number of pig farms have been applying strict biosecurity in their farms in the last three years. Biosecurity is thus a prerequisite that localities will consider for restocking allowance.
Thailand insists no ASF
26 September 2019 The Thai Department of Disease Control (DDC) announced that it has yet to find evidence of ASF in the country. However, the agency warned all Thai border provinces to stay vigilant as ASF has been reported in neighboring countries. DCC Deputy Director-General Asadang Ruayajin advised consumers against eating raw pork and farms to practice full biosecurity measures like using masks, gloves and multilevel disinfection to prevent transfer of the virus. Last week, authorities culled 200 pigs in Chiang Rai after two pigs mysteriously died in the province.
Production changes called for in pig industry
by Ha Thu, Asian Pork’s Ho Chi Minh City-based Correspondent
The significant drop in pig production in major producing countries like China and Vietnam due to ASF highlights the need for changes in production practices in Asia, where small farms still dominate. “Backyard farms are mostly located near their owners’ houses in residential areas, which are often crowded. Experts have repeatedly said this set-up makes it impossible to control the various aspects of production while keeping animals healthy,” Quach The Phong, Ipsos Business Consulting’s Country Manager, told Asian Agribiz. Thus they must change their habits if they are to remain in the industry.
Vietnam considers restocking pigs to boost supply
25 September 2019 Agriculture and Rural Development Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien has asked localities to consider restocking their pig herd to avoid pork shortages at the end of 2019, and especially for the Lunar New Year. Mr Tien also noted that the strict biosecurity now being implemented in many farms to prevent ASF has significantly reduced the number of pigs culled in recent months. Although many localities have not allowed restocking, Mr Tien said that with proper biosecurity protocols, restocking can be viable.
Philippine processors assure products are ASF-free
25 September 2019 The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (Pampi) assured Filipinos that processed meat products from its members are free of the ASF-virus. Pampi President Felix Tiukinhoy Jr said that the group does not import pork from ASF-infected countries, while the locally produced pork members use are certified by the National Meat Inspection Service. He added that Pampi members comply with international standards of food safety and manufacturing practices.
China bans pig imports from South Korea due to ASF
24 September 2019 China has banned pig imports from South Korea after the East Asian country became the latest to report an outbreak of the ASF that has destroyed pig herds and pushed up prices globally. China’s General Administration of Customs recently said it will strengthen quarantine checks of shipments and passenger luggage from South Korea, and any illegally imported pigs would be destroyed. China has been battling to bring an outbreak of the disease among its own pork supply chain under control after at least 1.1 million pigs were culled.
Thailand bans live pig movement in the north
23 September 2019 Thai Livestock Development Department confirmed that livestock officials in the northern province of Chiang Rai have banned the movement of live pigs in and out of the province for six months after several pigs were found to be infected with ASF. More than 200 pigs in Chiang Rai province have been culled and the carcasses destroyed. Officials manning 12 road checkpoints in the province have been instructed to be more vigilant in their searches of vehicles as a preventative measure, the department said.
South Korea becomes 9th country in Asia hit by ASF
23 September 2019 South Korea has reported its first ASF outbreak, making it the ninth country in Asia to be hit by the deadly pig virus. According to a report by the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), the outbreak occurred in Paju, a city in Gyeonggi province. Of the susceptible 2450 pigs, there were five cases, all of which died. The remaining 2445 have been destroyed. Another 1500 pigs in two other farms that belong to the owner as the farm with the outbreak were killed for preventative purposes.
Biosecurity key to minimizing ASF spread
by Isa Q Tan, Asian Pork’s Manila-based Editor
Following the government’s announcement that several samples from dead pigs tested positive for ASF, Philippine pig producers, especially in the backyard sector, must strictly follow biosecurity measures and implement good animal husbandry practices, Edwin Chen, President of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines told Asian Agribiz. He added that “the collaboration between private stakeholders, be they backyard or commercial farms, and the Department of Agriculture on the implementation of quarantine and safety measures” is paramount.
South Korea confirms first ASF outbreak
20 September 2019 The first outbreak of ASF in South Korea has occurred at a pig farm in Paju, a town near the border with North Korea, according to Agriculture Minister Kim Hyeon-soo. He said the country is on the highest alert and nearly 4000 hogs would be culled to prevent the spread of the virus. The ministry has ordered a nationwide movement ban of hogs and related livestock for 48 hours to curb the spread of the virus, while looking into the source of the virus.
Investigation finds some supermarkets in Malaysia still has Chinese pork products
20 September 2019 Some supermarkets in Malaysia still had recently manufactured pork products from China on their shelves, a recent investigation by a local newspaper found. Some of the products were produced as recent as March and June 2019 and should not have been imported into the country after the widely imposed ban since September 2018 following the ASF outbreak. Consumers are urged to check date of manufacture before buying the products to protect the local
Philippine national and local governments to harmonize ASF regulations
18 September 2019 Several local government units (LGU) in the Philippines have implemented bans on pigs and pork products from Luzon, where some pigs have tested positive for ASF. However, industry players said such policies might violate Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) regulations. BAI Director Ronnie Domingo told Asian Agribiz that the Department of Agriculture (DA) has assigned officials to harmonize the regulations between the LGUs and the DA. He added that some LGUs have already relaxed their initial pronouncements, and the border officials will allow entry of animals with valid regulatory documents.
Unfavorable weather condition fuels ASF outbreaks
September 19, 2019 ASF epidemic flares up after tropical storms hit the central and north areas of Vietnam in early September. Many areas saw reinfection after announcing the clearance shortly earlier. The authorities therefore have warned the entire industry to seriously take into account the risk of natural disaster and the source of drinking water. ASF has fully spread to the entire country, killing more than 4.7 million pigs. However, due to the complication of the epidemic, there has been no sign of restocking.
More dead pigs test positive for ASF in the Philippines
September 18, 2019 The Quezon City (QC) government confirmed that 11 dead pigs dumped near a creek in the city tested positive for ASF. It had earlier reported the discovery of the animals to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) which took samples for confirmation. BAI Director Ronnie Domingo told Asian Agribiz that the QC government prioritized collection and disposal of the dead animals. He added that the source of the pigs has not yet been verified, and that the Department of Agriculture and the QC government were said to begin epidemiological investigation on last Monday.
ASF confirmed in Philippine samples
September 10, 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed yesterday that tests conducted in the UK showed 14 out of 20 samples tested positive for ASF. DA Secretary William Dar said they are now waiting for the result of the viral isolation test which will confirm the virus strain. Since reports of pig deaths came out in August, he said a total of 7415 heads from ground zero have been culled. He noted, however, that quick response by the government and the private sector have helped contain the virus, with no more positive samples.
China’s pig industry to start restocking in 2020
10 September 2019 Rabobank’s Animal Protein Analyst Chenjun Pan said that by the end of 2019, China’s pig population would decline by 50%. Restocking is only expected to happen in 2020. “Some farms tried restocking after their herds were culled but suffered reinfection as the virus stays in the ground for some time. The only solution to this scourge is better biosecurity and farm management. Alternatively, choosing a new farm location away from the infected zone could also work,” she added.
ASF global market disruption will intensify
August 29, 2019 China’s hog losses due to ASF has reached critical levels, surpassing the world’s ability to fill the gap, Rabobank said in its latest global update on ASF. As the virus spreads to more countries, the disruption it is causing will only intensify. Rabobank said rebuilding of herds—difficult due to the risk of recontamination—and recovery will take at least five years in the worst-affected countries. This year, it expects 15-20% production losses in Vietnam and 25% in China.
Myanmar hit with ASF
August 20, 2019 Myanmar, which became the latest victim of ASF in Southeast Asia, reported its first two outbreaks of the disease in Shan State, which borders China in the north, Laos in the east, and Thailand in the south. The first outbreak involved 62 susceptible pigs of which 12 died of ASF and 53 were destroyed. The second outbreak involved three susceptible cases with two testing positive, with no deaths or culling so far.
CP Pokphand profit drops 23% as ASF bites
August 19, 2019 CP Pokphand Co Ltd has reported a 23% decline in profit to USD 82 million for the first half of 2019. Revenue over the period increased 2.1% to USD 3,237 million. CPPs directors attributed the decline in profitability to reduced swine prices in Vietnam and weak pig feed markets in China. Increased sales from recently commissioned processing plants in China and increased sales of feed to other species helped soften the negative ramifications caused by ASF. The directors remain cautious for the second half of 2019 in view of market uncertainties, especially animal protein prices.
Nearly 5m pigs lost to ASF
August 14, 2019 A year after it was first reported in China, ASF continues to sweep through Asia. To date it has claimed almost 5 million pigs in the region, resulting in severe economic losses to the pig sector, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth has urged at-risk countries to implement strong border controls and biosecurity to keep the virus out. He added that “it may take badly-affected countries years to recover from the socio-economic effects” of the disease.