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Animal Health

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Market Reports

July 10, 2018

China Animal Health Update (July 2018)

An eFeedLink Exclusive
By An-ming LI and Ngai Meng CHAN
July is the month when practically the whole of China experiences high temperatures. Reducing temperatures on farm and preventing heat exhaustion in poultry and swine is a top priority, and the quality of housing equipment is critical. Low consumption coupled with sufficient chicken and pork supplies led to prices hovering at low levels. There was some consolation for producers, however, in terms of the stable disease situation. The tightening of environmental policies and the introduction of emissions tax have done little to pressure producers, with the use of agricultural land to 'absorb' wastes still being commonplace. 

1. Swine

From July, swine prices picked up slightly. With many areas in East China being banned from production, swine supplies were reduced, and prices broke the RMB12 per kilogram mark. Overall in the country, live pig prices had basically not changed, and remained below the cost of production. The temporary rise in prices brought on by the reduced slaughter of fattening pigs seen from last winter (due to swine diarrhoea) are unlikely to be sustained. Pork consumption is weak in summer, coupled with the school holiday season, pork carcass consumption was also down. This increased the gap between supply and demand somewhat, but fundamentals to suggest a further rise were not particularly strong.

Despite the warm weather, incidences of diarrhoea in suckling pigs were still reported. Eperythrozoonosis, swine erysipelas and streptococcosis are common diseases in summer, and their prevention and treatment require large amounts of antibiotics, which pose a barrier to food safety. Prevention and control of toxoplasmosis should also be strengthened. The precise use of drugs enables their reduced use, and it is also very important to raise the level of preventive diagnosis.

2. Poultry

Currently, the inventory pressure on egg producers is not high, and resistance to low prices is gradually increasing. However, egg deliveries in the summer season were experiencing difficulties, and it is expected that egg prices would adjust after experiencing some volatility.

Recently, slaughter rates for broilers have been at a low level, and processing companies have been buying at higher prices. However, with typical sales levels for meat products, these companies are operating at a loss. The first half of July saw live broiler prices at RMB8.30 per kilogram, which is expected to adjust slightly.

In July, the disease situation for poultry was stable. Symptoms of leukemia in chickens seen on a small number of farms meant that further work on disease elimination could be done. Adequate attention should also be given to the localised spread of adenoviral infections.

In terms of eliminating respiratory diseases under conditions of high temperatures and high humidity, there should be an appropriate reduction of stocking densities, coupled with good air conditioning and ventilation.

3. Government policies

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs had recently formulated measures to ban five categories of drug use in food-producing animals:

i. Adrenergic agonists

Clenbuterol, salbutamol, ractopamine etc.

ii. Sex hormones

Diethylstilbestrol, estradiol, chorionic gonadotropin, luteinizing hormone etc.

iii. Anabolic steroids

Iodinated casein, nandrolone phenylpropionate etc.

iv. Psychotropic drugs

Chlorpromazine, diazepam, phenobarbital, etc.

v. Antibiotic residues

These refer to the wastes generated from the drug manufacturing process, and they contain minute amounts of antibiotics which can easily lead to drug resistance.

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