April 30, 2020
African swine fever lowered Romanian swine herd in 2019
Romania's pig population decreased in 2019, compared with the previous year, as African swine fever continued to negatively affect the country's backyard and commercial hog holdings, the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in a recent report.
Romania's pig herd in 2019 totalled 3.7 million, down 9.76% from 4.1 million head in 2018, the USDA's GAIN (Global Agricultural Information Network) report said, citing National Institute of Statistics data.
Romania's lower swine numbers were attributed largely to ASF, which continued to spread and destabilize the hog production sector. As of the start of March 2020, there were 528 active ASF cases in domestic pigs, including seven on commercial farms; in addition, there were 3,210 positive cases in wild boars, data from the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority showed.
The report said that while ASF remains a clear and present danger to Romania's hog and pork industries, the number of year-on-year active cases dropped by about 50%.
Romania has so far culled nearly 600,000 pigs under its ASF eradication programme, with over 455,000 pigs of them culled during the falls of 2018 and 2019 at commercial operations.
Tight local supplies triggered increased pork meat imports in 2018, which continued to surge in the first two quarters of 2019. But the pace of imports slowed down in the third quarter as the EU pork prices rose due to strong export demand from China.
Pork meat consumption declined because the market deficit from domestic production could not be fully offset by imports due to the price hike, the report said.