African Swine Fever: Domestic Risk and Export Opportunity

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a potentially fatal viral disease of pigs and wild boar, for which there are neither vaccines nor cures. Endemic in sub-Saharan Africa it has spread widely across Asia – including China and Vietnam – and parts of Central and Eastern Europe.

This has led to the deaths of over 800,000 pigs and wild boar in Europe and an estimated four million pigs in Asia; if the disease were found in the UK, it could have a devastating impact on the UK’s commercial pig stock. In response to this growing threat, DEFRA launched a campaign in July aimed at keeping the damaging animal disease out of the country.

After AFS was diagnosed in its domestic herds last year, China carried out mass pig culls and created a 10m-tonne domestic shortfall of pig meat. Domestic pork prices nearly doubled since July which has significantly increased import demand, met principally by Brazil and Europe as US pork continues to be subject to a 72 per cent tariff imposed by the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Analysts project that China will import more than 2m tonnes of the meat this year which represents a real opportunity for exporters of pork in Europe. “China’s need for pork and protein substitutes will disrupt traditional meat trade flows,” said Ricardo Santin, chief executive of the Brazilian Animal Protein Association. “The sales outlook to China is positive for the entire international market but is especially valuable for Brazil.”

Remember that the China-Britain Business Council can support companies throughout the process of entering the market and growing their business in China:

For more information on exporting to China, feel free to give me a call.


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