Last week, China reported its first ever outbreak of African swine fever at a farm in Shenyang. Chinese pig-related stocks then slumped after the world’s biggest pork producer and consumer reported its first ever case of highly contagious hemorrhagic fever.
In Hong Kong, WH Group Ltd., the world’s largest pork company, retreated 2.1 percent. Muyuan Foodstuff Co. dropped 8.7 percent, Guangdong Wens Foodstuffs Group Co. fell 6.3 percent and Tangrenshen Group Co. declined 4 percent in the aftermath of the announcement of the outbreak, according to Bloomberg.
The outbreak of the African swine fever is spurring a cull (slaughter of pigs), a ban on transportation, and a quarantine for the neighboring areas. The hemorrhagic disease is highly contagious and mortality rates can be as high as 100 percent, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health. Although the disease is not a threat to humans, it is making its impact on the food industry. China had more than 433 million pigs at the start of the year, more than half of the world’s total food/pork pigs.
The first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) virus in China was reported on Friday, August 3, according to the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC). The outbreak was located in the northeast part of the country, in the city Shenyang, district of Shenbei New, in the province Liaoning, SHIC said in a news release. This is a swine dense area of 130 miles (208km) along the North Korean border.
“Infection on a small farm with a herd of 383 pigs, where 47 pigs died from the disease, was confirmed by China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center on Friday, August 3, 11 a.m., local time,” SHIC reported. SHIC also noted that the Chinese Center For Disease Control and Prevention officially reports a level two outbreak, and “it has been contained with the slaughter of a herd of close to 1,000 pigs,” the center reported. “The transport of pigs in and out of the area has been banned, along with the feeding of untreated food waste.”
According to Pork Business, The Global Agricultural Information Network reports that pork producers and animal quarantine officials in Bulgaria are currently monitoring for African swine fever (ASF), as recent outbreaks of the virus have occurred just over the border with Romania, and elsewhere in the region. Pork remains the most widely produced and consumed meat in Bulgaria.