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ASF Claims More Territory in Asia

Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization say that the African Swine Fever Virus is now in Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, and Vietnam, and the pig 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 that 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 Chinese herd will decline between 20 and 30 percent in 2019 from last year’s total of 428 million head. 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, but with the size of China’s herd it will likely take up to five years.