Pork Commentary, Sept 17, 2018
Jim Long, President-CEO, Genesus Inc.
Hurricane Florence hits North Carolina
As we write we have no specific news on the effects of Hurricane Florence and the North Carolina Swine Industry. We do know that North Carolina hog plants were closed the last few days. Cutting US hog marketing by about 60,000 per day. North Carolina has one million sows and is second only to Iowa as the largest producing states.
Let’s hope the producers and packers weather this storm. Our industry is never easy and having to deal with the calamity of such a magnitude is daunting.
As one northern producer said to us last week, “That hurricane puts handling some snow into a real perspective”.
African Swine Fever
African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to move in China. It is a huge challenge for Chinese authorities to control the ASF. Lots of pigs moving, that is 600 million a year, with millions of sows in backyard production.
We have observed ASF in Russia for ten years. It has not been contained, despite having a large land mass with swine widely dispersed. China has twenty times more pigs than Russia. A large percentage of China’s pigs are fed by bags that are reused. Many pigs are moved in vehicles with wooden floors; wash/disinfection of trailers has room for improvement.
Last week we communicated with a swine veterinarian that works in Eastern Europe and China. We asked how he would see ASF in China from his real experience with this virus.
His reply – “We (Canada), but also the whole planet may have a major job in feeding 1.4 billion people”.
Chinese authorities have announced new measures to control the spread of ASF, including prohibition of inter-province movement of live pigs among the affected provinces; as well as neighboring provinces – that covers 16 provinces, more than half of the country. Other measurements would be stopping the use of pig blood meal for feed and increasing the subsidy from 800 to 1200 CNY ($117 US to $174 US) per pig under mandatory killing.
The restriction of hog movement and ASF issues are affecting China Hog Market. Price in Liaoning, which has an ASF break – 11.9 CNY/kg liveweight (78¢ US/lb. liveweight), while in Zhejiang, ASF free – 18 CNY/kg liveweight (1.19 US/lb. liveweight). That’s an $100 US per head difference.
We will be watching China hog prices closely – they will reflect most quickly the supply-demand effects of ASF.
Last week 2 wild pigs were identified with ASF in Belgium. First time ASF is observed in Western Europe.
The plague seems to be relentless in its movement.