African swine fever control situation in China remains complicated – official
BEIJING, July 20 (Reuters) – China’s efforts to control outbreaks of African swine fever in its pig herd have remained complicated, with 11 outbreaks officially reported so far this year and new variants of the virus also present, a said an official from the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday.
Beijing has rebuilt its pig herd after the virus, first detected in China in 2018, slashed pig and pig production in the world’s largest market.
Industry sources said there were new outbreaks in northern and northeastern China earlier this year. New outbreaks have also been detected in southwest Sichuan province, Reuters reported. Read more
“The control and prevention situation is still complicated and the task remains severe,” said Xin Guochang, an official in the livestock office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The risk of further epidemics has persisted even though the overall disease situation is stable, Xin told reporters.
The Chinese herd of 439 million pigs at the end of June was 99.4% of the level at the end of 2017, with a sow herd at 45.64 million head, or 102% of the level at the end of 2017, said Zeng Yande, head of development and planning. under the ministry, at the same event.
The resumption of pig production has led to greater use of corn, a main ingredient in animal feed, and has pushed up grain prices, Song Danyang, another agriculture ministry official, said at the meeting. of the press conference.
Maize supplies are guaranteed and prices are likely to remain high and stabilize before the new harvest in the fall as arrivals of imported maize, sorghum and barley increase, Song said.
Animal feed producers have also turned to cheaper wheat to replace corn in the feed recipe.
China’s use of wheat in animal feed is expected to remain at a relatively high level as grain retains a price advantage over corn, Song added.
Wheat prices in central Henan Province, a major grain producer, were 2,520 yuan ($ 388.57) per tonne on Monday, topping the price of corn at 2,910 yuan.
($ 1 = 6.4854 Chinese renminbi yuan)
Reporting by Hallie Gu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez & Simon Cameron-Moore
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.