A Pork Checkoff news release says in just 30 days, the African Swine Fever Virus is claiming more territory across all parts of Asia. Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization say that ASF is now in Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, and Vietnam. Experts predict its relentless march won’t stop there. The death loss continues to grow. In Vietnam, officials say more than 2.5 million pigs have been culled from the national herd due to ASF. The disease has spread to almost every province in the nation. Pork makes up 75 percent of the total meat consumption in Vietnam, which is a country of 95 million people. The Chinese picture doesn’t look a whole lot better. The Chinese government and larger private producers are doing what they can to improve the situation but it’s still a struggle. The nation’s swine herd shrank nearly 21 percent on the year to a level not seen since the early 1990s. Dutch lender Rabobank forecasts the herd will decline between 20 and 30 percent in 2019 from the previous year. China had a record herd size of 428 million head in 2018. A senior analyst at Rabobank says Chinese farmers haven’t tried to rebuild their herds in spite of calls from the government to do so. They’re worried that they could lose their stock again due to the disease. The Rabobank analyst says it typically takes two or three years to have a recovery of stock. However, with the size of China’s herd, it will likely take up to five years.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.