September 11, 2020
Germany confirms African swine fever case, pork exports at risk
Germany confirmed that African swine fever (ASF) was detected on a wild boar carcass east of the country bordering Poland, threatening its pork exports especially to China where it exported US$1.2 billion worth of the meat in 2019, Reuters reported.
A 15km quarantine has been imposed in Brandenburg state where the wild boar carcass was found to search for other dead swine and restrict the movement of livestock.
South Korea has already imposed a ban on German pork imports. South Korea is Germany's second biggest pork export market outside of the European Union.
China usually announces a ban on meat imports from countries where ASF has been detected, even if the disease was only discovered among wild animals.
Andre Schaefer, from commodity brokerage Kaackterminhandel GmbH, said if China imposed a ban on German pork imports it could pressure pork prices in Germany.
German meat industry association VDF said they are expecting China and Japan to announce pork import bans soon.
VDF said Asian countries are important because they import swine products unpopular in Europe such as swine feet, tails, ears, and bones. A ban would influence product flows in the pork market.
Germany's statistics office said the country exported 158,000 tonnes of pork to China between January to April this year, worth US$500 million. This was two times higher compared to the same period in 2019.
Julia Kloeckner, Germany's Agriculture Minister said there are in discussions with China, adding that there are no formal agreements between both countries with regard to ASF.
She said discussions revolve around imposing import restrictions only on parts of the country that reported animal disease.
Kloeckner said other European countries will continue to import German pork.
German farmers' association DBV said the government should create a "wild boar-free corridor" with Poland on their shared border.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said Germany should follow Belgium's measure to contain ASF locally to wild animals to limit trade restrictions on pork exports.