The African Swine Fever virus is continuing to march through parts of Asia and Europe. A National Pork Board update says it’s causing increasing disruption to the world’s pork production. Much of the ASF concern centers on China, for good reason, because it’s number one in global pork production. The World Organization for Animal Health now says nearly all of China’s provincial-level administrative units have reported one or more ASF outbreaks. That means all but the far western portion of China now has at least some level of ASF exposure. Official reports now say China has had to cull approximately one million pigs since the outbreak got going last August. However, there are unofficial reports say the actual number of lost animals may be ten times the official number.
Economist Steve Meyer with Kerns and Associates says China’s breeding herd is down 19 percent from a year ago. Total market hogs are down 16 percent from 2018. Non-governmental reports from U.S. pork industry visitors are calling China’s ASF outbreak “endemic,” which means there is little hope of containing the disease or getting rid of it any time soon. Good evidence of this designation is the fact that ASF has now been confirmed in neighboring Vietnam, where 17 provinces in the northern part of the country have confirmed cases of the disease.