New Zealand’s coronavirus cluster is growing with three new cases


China’s new outbreaks of swine fever are causing doubts about recovery

. New outbreaks of the virus and other deadly pig diseases can pose risks to the outlook. A resurgence of swine fever cases in colder northern provinces led farmers to slaughter more of their breeding sows before the lunar New Year, says Lin Guofa, senior analyst at consulting firm Bric Agriculture Group. Pork is China’s favorite meat and consumption usually spreads during the holiday season. Other viruses, such as foot-and-mouth disease and swine epidemic diarrhea, have also taken their toll in outbreaks that have been exacerbated by a harsher than usual winter, says Lin. “The recovery of pig herds in some regions may be delayed, especially in Shandong and parts of Henan and Hebei,” he said. This means that as much as 15% of the national pig herd may have been lost due to illness during the winter. and its complete rehabilitation to levels before swine fever is more likely in the second half of 2022. said Wang Zhong, chief consultant at Systematic, Strategic & Soft Consulting Co. The outbreaks have included new variants of swine fever that have been shown to be less easy to detect and more difficult to control, he said. Stabilizing the pig population and reducing market volatility had been a high priority for policy makers since swine fever sank in China’s pig herd, the world’s largest, in 2018. There is no officially sanctioned vaccine and the epidemic caused the number of pigs to almost halve, leading to higher imports and prices on pork. In recent months, global agricultural markets have become more affected by the government’s efforts to deliver a rapid recovery in numbers. This has led to a massive shortage of fodder and emptied silos as far away as North America. China’s pig population had returned to 90% of its normal levels by the end of November, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The ministry did not respond to a fax requesting comment on its latest forecasts. Efforts to speed up the release of imported meat held in ports and in cold storage, estimated at around 1 million tonnes, should help keep a lid on pork prices, says Bric’s Lin. Live hog futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange meanwhile reached their highest end on Monday since the contract debuted last month. For more articles like this, visit us at Subscribe now to stay ahead of the most trusted business news source. © 2021 Bloomberg LP

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