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The African swine epidemic of China can raise prices of global meat



Of these, 15,000 died by virus. The other 5,000 were destroyed as a precaution.

"It started with some pigs a day, and then hundreds," said Sun, a pork farmer and agricultural trader from the province of Hebei, China. "Finally, 800 pigs will die in one day."

African swine fever (ASF) degrades China's pork industry, the largest in the world. Dutch bank Rabobank, lending to the global agricultural sector, estimates that the country's pig population may shrink by a third in 2019 – up to 200 million animals – through a combination of disease and culling.

To put it in context

  A picture of one of the pigs of Sun Dawu in March 201[ads1]8, before the epidemic.

The virus does not harm humans but is deadly in pigs – and, at this time, there is no cure or vaccine. Beginning in Africa, prevalence has been recorded in eastern Europe and Russia before it first appeared in China in August.

Since then it has spread to other Asian countries, including Vietnam and Cambodia.

In March, the Chinese government said there was a "good control" of the epidemic. At a press conference last month, Beijing said ASF did not spread soon enough.

According to the United Nations & # 39; Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), China's central authorities have taken the proper steps to bring the virus under control.

"They have done everything they can to control the disease, they have a plan, they have a strategy, they respond diligently," said Vincent Martin, FAO representative in China.

  Virus prevention teams working on sun farm Sun Dawu after the outbreak, which killed more than 15,000 of his animals by March 2019.

Wiped farms

But the size of the outbreak could be greater than estimates officials, as some farmers tell CNN that the disease is not always recognized in one place. [19659002] Sun said the preliminary trial by The provincial officials in his Hebei farm was negative for the ASF. However after he posted pictures of dead animals online, the Disease Prevention and Control Center of the country tried to identify them and confirmed that they were carrying the virus.

Also in Hebei, both peasants Zhang Haixia watched all his 600 pigs die. The official cause of death, told him, is a regular swine influenza.

"Local officials are afraid to be sure," he told CNN. "They threatened us that there would be consequences if we reported higher positions in the government, and they were afraid of losing jobs because of this."

  CNN has contacted authorities in Hebei for comment but did not receive a response. </p>
<div class=
  Peasant peasants Zhang Haixia cries in an empty pen after losing all his animals to the African swine flu in early 2019.

Martin, from the FAO, warned that it may last many years before the full spread.

"I'm not sure I can say it's under control because we know how complicated the disease is," he said. "We have experience in other countries where years have been taken to get hold of these diseases."

Inadequate pork in the world

One of China's main problems faced with ASF is that its pork industry is fragmented. Martin said that there are thousands of small farms that can not have the right bio-security measures needed to control the spread of the disease.

Another complication is that the virus can survive in pig products for a few months, meaning it can be re-displayed at

  Swine fever threatens pig industry as China prepares for the Year of the Pig [19659027] Swine fever threatens pig industry as China prepares for the Year of the Pig

And not just producers who hurt. The epidemic can also have a wider impact on the economy: China is the world's largest pork shop, a staple for most of its 1.4 billion people.

According to government estimates, the price of pork may increase to record levels in the second half of 2019, as the need for excess supply.

Analysts say that no pork in the world claims to cover the expected shortage and Chinese consumers are likely to switch to other meat as a substitute.

Rabobank's report predicts an "unprecedented" shift in global protein supply to China to cover deficits.

  Swine fever harms the production of pigs in China, and the world feels it
"this shift is likely to create unexpected shortage of products in markets previously serviced by suppliers … which will ultimately result in higher protein prices worldwide, "writes the author of the report Christine McCracken .

Pork producers in Europe and the US are beginning to increase shipments to China, even though US exports are subject to 62% tariffs due to trade resistance in China.

In the lunar calendar, 2019 is the year of the pig. It should be a blessed year. For the pig industry of China, this is anything but.


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