African swine fever, a highly contagious disease, which spreads on aquaculture farms in Asia, has a «significant impact» on global agricultural markets, firstly on the prices of meat that soared in the boreal spring, FAO reported on Thursday in a statement.» The disease has a significant impact on world markets: pork prices rose rapidly between February and May 2019,» the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) said in a study on pork Subject.
In the Chinese market, the price of pork soared between February and March, but was stabilized by the marketing of «frozen reserves,» FAO added. In May alone, FAO’s global meat price index, published on Thursday, increased by 1.5%, the highest for more than a year, «due to strong demand for East Asian imports for sheep meat , swine and poultry.»» A demand that would have the effect of compensating for shortages of domestic production due to the spread of African swine fever,» the body says. In Asia, pork production is estimated to decline by 9% in 2019, at 60.7 million tonnes, due to the slaughter of pigs decided to try to curb the spread of this epidemic or the death of animals already affected by the disease. In China, the world’s leading breeder of pigs, production is projected to decline by «at least 10%» this year, by 49.1 million tonnes. Production declines in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia and South Korea are also expected, FAO warned, Asia would increase pork imports by 5.2 million tonnes (+10%), depending on the same source. From January to April, imports of pork by China already rose by 10%, by 570,000 tonnes (carcase weight, a unit used for skinned, bled and eviscerated pigs). FAO is particularly concerned about the livelihood of the 130 million pig-breeders in China, where 30% of domestic production comes from small farms, including those most exposed to the disease.