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Market Reports

March 28, 2019

China Animal Health Update (March 2019)
 
By An-ming LI and Ngai Meng CHAN
 

An eFeedLink Exclusive

In March, the climate entered a mild period, marking a peak production season for the livestock industry. While egg and broiler production rose, disease transmission also increased, and March could be said to be a month of risks and opportunities. In addition, the impact of African swine fever (ASF) was far from over, prices of day-old chicks surged to a new record, and stock replenishment was a highly speculative activity.

1. Swine

Although ASF greatly reduced swine inventory numbers, pork supplies were still abundant. While the recent jump in swine prices was understandable, the magnitude of the jump exceeded expectations. A severe shortage of pigs formed the basis in some regions. A recent round of government stockpiling of pork, coupled with producers withholding pig sales in anticipation of further price increase, contributed to the tense situation of pig supplies. Current pork consumption is weak, and frozen stocks in slaughter companies are at a high level; it is expected that swine prices would continue to fluctuate. As the ASF epidemic situation develops, the supply and demand gap should become more pronounced, and a sharp rise in swine prices in the second half of 2019 is anticipated.

The ASF disease challenge remains strong, with one case of ASF reported in Guigang, Guangxi on March 7. Farms are strengthening their disinfection and quarantine measures. For epidemic diarrhoea, which typically occurs in the winter to spring period, few incidences were reported. Blue-ear disease continues to lurk in farms with unstable health status. For pseudorabies, disease prevention in sows forms the basis for the elimination of the disease on-farm. Antibiotic reduction or elimination often depends on the level of control of Mycoplasma pneumonia. Streptococcal disease in swine not only leads to arthritis and meningitis, but also impacts food safety of pork products, and deserves much attention.

2. Poultry

Rising temperatures and longer daylight hours in March were conducive to broiler and egg production. From south to north, the country progressively entered into a peak production season. Recently egg deliveries have been smooth, pushing up prices. Currently market supplies of eggs are ample, and is expected that prices would adjust in the short term, perhaps weakening slightly.

Inventory control for broilers continued to be tight, with a focus on stock replenishment in March. Rising broiler demand led to fluctuation of day-old chick prices upwards. The ASF epidemic situation is contributing to the current market conditions as more consumers switch to poultry products.

Recently, the health status of poultry flocks has been relatively stable, with a significant reduction in gut and respiratory diseases seen. However, farms should not be satisfied with reduced disease incidence, but should pursue disease elimination at its source, particularly for avian influenza, avian leukosis, Marek's disease and Mycoplasma disease. In addition, from breeding stocks to all-in-all-out systems, disinfection and quarantine measures should be well implemented, and local disease elimination is achievable.

3. Government policies

In Announcement No. 138 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, a list of laboratories for ASF was indicated: i) Reference laboratory - China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (Qingdao); ii) Professional laboratory - Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, CAAS; iii) Regional laboratories - Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, CAAS, Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS, South China Agricultural University.

The State Council had cancelled a set of licencing requirements including those for feed additive premixes and feed additives for use in premixes, amending the approval requirements to filing requirements.
 


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