July 8, 2019
Swine fever's impact on China could potentially last for a decade, Cargill says
Cargill believes that the impact of African swine fever (ASF) on China's hog sector could last for a decade prior to a full recovery, according to BusinessMirror report.
Official reports of a 24% decline for the country's herd are "conservative," said John Fering, managing director for Cargill's premix and nutrition business in China.
"This is not a short-term event. This is going to take several years, if not a decade, to fully achieve structural recovery," Fering added. He commented that switching to alternative sources is one way "to close the gap" between protein supply and demand.
As such, poultry could potentially become the top beneficiary, both in terms of China's domestic market and overseas, according to Fering. Eggs will come second, followed by beef and aquaculture.
In addition, the switch to poultry is helping to keep China's demand for soybean meal from cratering. Prices are also attractive relative to other vegetable proteins, helping keep soymeal in feed rations, Fering said.
First reported in China in August last year, ASF has struck the country with more than 140 outbreaks, forcing China to be more dependent on imports.
As the Chinese hog industry is made up of several backyard operations, local authorities have encountered difficulty in keeping the disease under control.