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Animal Health

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Market Reports

September 14, 2018

China Animal Health Update (September 2018)
By An-ming LI and Ngai Meng CHAN
An eFeedLink Exclusive

Entering September, apart from a few regions in the southern part of China, most parts of the country are in the autumn season. The low humidity levels, and cool temperatures in the morning and evening, are conducive to the growth and development of livestock. Reduction of disease incidence attributed to heat stress provided stable conditions for feeding management.

1. Swine

Swine production was heavily impacted by the recent outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF). As reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, as of September 10, outbreaks occurred in the provinces of Liaoning, Henan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Heilongjiang, and had been effectively dealt with. Swine farms strengthened their prevention and control measures, including the strict implementation of regulated disinfection and quarantine. Further spread of the epidemic would not only result in a falling live pig inventory and a sharp rise in pork prices, but also speed up the market exit of small and medium-sized farms and growth of the average farm size.

Market activity of live pigs was significantly reduced due to the outbreaks of ASF, with prices being polarised. Naturally transport volume grew in regions not affected by ASF, supported by demand from regions such as Shanghai and Zhejiang where prices increased. In comparison, prices fell in regions affected by ASF such as north-eastern China.

The relevant authorities are conducting in-depth investigations into the causes and transmission routes for the disease. It is necessary to pay close attention to epidemic situation of ASF, which would have far-reaching effects on China's swine industry.

2. Poultry

In September, the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day raised consumption expectations, with prices of key poultry products remaining at a high level. But without significant change in supply of meat and egg products, prices are expected to be maintained.

Entering September, delivery volumes of eggs rose, but with insufficient inventory, it is expected that prices would slightly rebound in the short term. However, the rebound would be limited as more pullets enter into production and egg supplies increase.

Following the hot summer period (which reduced production), chicken consumption increased. It is therefore expected that poultry prices would fluctuate at a high level in the short term. Prices of day-old chicks (DOC) also increased, reaching a three-year record. This lead to an overall increase in production costs, and DOC replenishment was limited. It is expected that DOC prices would adjust in the short term.

As the high summer temperatures have passed, and the feeding and housing environment is favourable, disease incidence decreased. However, there were reports of avian influenza and colibacillosis. Together with Newcastle disease, Marek's disease, infectious bursal disease and coccidiosis, vaccine and drug application should follow the correct procedures in order to effectively prevent disease and production losses.

3. Government policies

i. Control of deliveries of live pigs

On August 31, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs notified counties, cities and provinces affected by ASF to suspend deliveries of live pigs out of the affected areas, and to shut down all markets trading live pigs.

All affected counties were also notified to suspend slaughter activities. Production would only resume following thorough disinfection and inspection, and risk assessment.

ii. Other recent requests from the Ministry regarding ASF prevention and control on swine farms

Conduct proper disinfection on a daily basis, and isolate feeding and housing facilities.

Avoid contact among live pigs, wild boars, and Ornithodoros ticks.

It is strictly forbidden to feed pigs swill which has not been treated under high temperatures.

Report any abnormality in deaths seen in a swine herd immediately to the relevant veterinary department.

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