September 16, 2019

China Animal Health Update (September 2019)

An eFeedLink Exclusive

By An-ming LI and Ngai Meng CHAN


The highest temperatures of September have passed, and China's livestock industry has entered into the peak production season of autumn. As the African swine fever (ASF) epidemic situation continues, live pig inventories continue their decline, supporting rising swine prices. Prices of eggs and chicken meat are at high levels, helped by the pork shortage, which should continue for a relatively long time.

1. Swine

In September, the lack in live pig supplies was quite obvious, with prices in some regions exceeding RMB30 per kilogram. The high pork prices led to consumer demand shifting to poultry and aquaculture, with the price increase easing in some regions. To date the gap in supply and demand in southern regions is still more pronounced than in northern regions.

Also in September, the State Council and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs introduced various policies including land management, financing, environmental management and transportation, and concepts such as the swine production cycle and prohibited farming areas, to support the swine industry. However, such methods may not be efficient enough in providing a solution to control the ASF epidemic situation at its core. That said, as farms stepped up their disease prevention measures, reports of ASF incidence had significantly reduced. Bringing some positive news to the market, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences also recently announced that its vaccine technology is entering the clinical trial stage.

2. Poultry

Led by strong market demand, layer and broiler production rose in September. While high market prices benefited producers, it came with increased risk. Free-range eggs also came to the market in batches. It is expected that egg prices would continue to rise and be maintained at a high level. For broilers, as the production cycle is short, production is sensitive to market sentiment and any increase in day-old chick prices or disease pressure. The recent rise in broiler prices is expected to continue into October. As pork prices continue to rise, there is a possibility that we would see atypical forecasts driven by the shift towards chicken meat. Accounting for the short production cycle of broilers, it is important to ensure hygiene in the feeding and housing environment, and improve flock immunity, particularly against Mycoplasma diseases, colibacillosis, and infectious bronchitis.

3. Government policies

On September 10, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced that its ASF vaccine technology is entering the clinical trial stage. Crossing the first bottleneck towards commercial production, a live attenuated vaccine with double genetic deletion had passed efficacy and safety tests under laboratory conditions. This was followed by an application to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for a biosafety evaluation prior to clinical trial.

On September 6, the Ministry announced the second batch of 1,578 swine slaughtering companies, requesting them to come on board the electronic quarantine certification system within the prescribed period.

On September 11, the General Office of the State Council issued the "Opinions on stabilising and transforming the swine production sector", requesting all provinces to fully support swine production to ensure security in pork supply.


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