The Deadly African Virus That’s Killing China’s Pigs
A deadly swine disease is spreading across eastern Asia, infecting thousands of pigs and threatening the world’s largest hog industry. Since emerging in China in August, African swine fever has been detected in neighboring Mongolia and Vietnam, increasing the chances of transmission to other countries. The first outbreak in Cambodia was reported in early April in backyard pigs, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Vietnam border.
China has more than 400 million pigs, or over half the world’s swine, and Vietnam has about 27 million. Pork is the principal source of dietary protein in China and accounts for about a third of meat expenditure in Vietnam. The culling of pigs to stem the disease’s spread, along with restrictions on the movement of animals, have hurt the livelihoods of pig producers, cut pork production, pushed prices higher and driven consumers to other sources of protein.
Wholesale pork prices have climbed almost 9 percent since late July. On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, soybean meal prices have tumbled 22 percent over the same time on concern the disease will cut demand for the animal feed ingredient.
More hogs have already died than are in the entire USA and Canadian herds combined.
As I have said, bad timing for the Chinese to get into a trade war with the USA.