Sick pigs af­fect trade

Shepparton News - Country News - - LIVESTOCK -

African swine fever has the po­ten­tial to cause waves in global meat trade which will flow through to the Aus­tralian beef mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to Rabobank’s lat­est global Beef Quar­terly re­port.

The re­port says the con­tin­ued spread of African swine fever through China’s pig pop­u­la­tion is re­sult­ing in in­creased slaugh­ter, trans­port bans and volatile prices.

Rabobank se­nior an­i­mal pro­teins an­a­lyst An­gus Gi­d­leyBaird said African swine fever con­tin­ued to spread across China, with more than 60 con­firmed cases up to Novem­ber 19 scat­tered across all the ma­jor porkpro­duc­ing prov­inces.

‘‘Most cases are in small-sized farms, but sev­eral were from larger-scale farms,’’ Mr Gi­d­leyBaird said.

‘‘Given the sheer size of pro­duc­tion and the frag­mented struc­ture, it will be a great chal­lenge for China to con­trol the dis­ease spread­ing in the com­ing year.’’

Mr Gi­d­ley-Baird said while a de­cline in China’s pork pro­duc­tion was clear, Chi­nese pork con­sump­tion was also ex­pected to drop, giv­ing rise to in­creases in the con­sump­tion and im­port of other an­i­mal pro­teins, in­clud­ing eggs, poul­try, beef, mut­ton and seafood.

‘‘Aus­tralia is in a good po­si­tion to sup­ply in­creased Chi­nese beef im­port de­mand — Aus­tralia’s beef ex­ports to China are up 43 per cent for the year to date in Oc­to­ber.

‘‘But lower slaugh­ter num­bers due to the re­cent re­duc­tion in the Aus­tralian cat­tle herd will see our over­all ex­port vol­umes re­duced in 2019, and this would be fur­ther ex­ac­er­bated by an im­prove­ment in the sea­son, which would see pro­duc­ers hold on to more cat­tle.’’

Rabobank an­a­lyst An­gus Gi­d­ley-Baird.

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