ASF in China: pig farms shall carry out on-farm ASF detection tests

The Ministry of Agriculture of China has decided to strengthen the prevention and control of African swine fever even more, increasing the ability for the early detection of the epidemics at the farm level and encouraging the pig farmers to carry out the detection of the disease on their own farms.

The Ministry of Agriculture urges the owners of large farms and breeding farms to carry out on-farm ASF tests for the detection of this disease.

The tests shall be provided by the Ministry of Agriculture or the Animal Diseases Control Centre of China, and the authorities shall provide funds to the farms so they can carry out these tests. Besides, the local livestock and veterinary departments shall provide technical services to pig farmers so they carry out the ASF tests.

The Ministry has also pointed out that before carrying out the diagnosis, the pigs and other potentially infected items are isolated and not removed without authorisation.

The regional livestock and veterinary department shall carry out an epidemiologic research, samplings and tests in hazardous places and on hazardous products with epidemiologic links, verifying all the hints, gathering all the evidences and removing all the risks in an effective way.

The livestock and veterinary departments shall encourage the role of pig farmers on the prevention of the disease, shall favour the building of farms for the prevention of epidemics, provide the farmers with the tests for the detection of ASF and with disinfecting products and other supporting materials for the complete cleaning and disinfection of the premises, other tools and transport vehicles, and the implementation of the main biosecurity measures (for instance, forbid the entrance to the farms of foreign staff and vehicles).

Thursday, April 18th, 2019/ MoA/ China.
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EU pigmeat in 2019: production expected to stabilise and prices should rise

According to "EU agricultural markets short-term outlook – Spring 2019" repport, EU production expected to stabilise in 2019, despite lower herd so far.

EU production expected to stabilise

The EU breeding herd is back to a decreasing trend in 2018 ( -3% year-on-year), after the expansion in 2017. There were significant herd reductions in PL (-18%), NL (- 9%), DE (- 4%) and RO (- 9%), due to low prices, African Swine Fever (ASF) risk and/or environmental restrictions. By contrast, Spain pursues the expansion of production, driven by growing extra-EU exports: the breeding herd grew by 2 % and production by 5% in this Member State. Nevertheless, EU production is expected to remain stable in 2019 thanks to productivity gains and expected growth in export demand Depending on the level of the rise of China demand due to the spread of ASF, EU production could be boosted into positive growth.

EU prices should rise in 2019, after low prices in 2018

Significant EU production growth in 2018 (+2%) led to pigmeat prices below the last 5 - year average. Slightly higher feed prices added pressure on producer margins. 2019 started with similar price conditions, however prices are rising as supply tightens and export prospects improve, particularly towards China. Apparent consumption per capita rose by 0.5 kg in 2018 (32.6 kg) supported by high availabilities. It should readjust in 2019 as the market balances, down to 32.2 kg.

EU pigmeat exports expected to grow in 2019

EU pigmeat exports grew by 4% in 2018, but fell to the main destination China (- 8 %) and to Hong Kong (- 43%). In 2019, pigmeat exports should grow significantly (+9%) as Chinese demand rises. EU offal exports fell by 6% in 2018, driven by falling demand from Hong Kong (-38%). Overall volume of meat&offal exports grew by 1% but fell in value by 7% in 2018.

EU kept its share of Chinese market in 2018

Chinese import demand, the main driver of world pork trade, fell by 13% in 2018; the EU maintained its share above 60%. The closure of Russian market in 2018 pushed Brazilian exports to the Chinese market, where they rapidly increased their share. Meanwhile, the share of the US halved due to the trade frictions; it should recover if China ends its retaliatory tariffs. Growth of world trade in 2019 will depend on the level of Chinese demand.

Chinese pigmeat and offal imports: share by origin (product weight)
Chinese pigmeat and offal imports: share by origin (product weight)

Wednesday April 17, 2019/ DG Agriculture/ European Union.
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United States is Europe's main soya beans supplier

Imports of U.S. soya beans by the European Union increased by 121% over the current market year (July 2018 to mid-April 2019), compared to the same period in the previous year.

With a share of 72% of EU soya beans imports, the U.S. is today Europe's number one supplier. Conversely, Europe is the top destination of U.S. soya beans exports with 22%, followed by China (18%) and Mexico (9%).

Increasing trade in a number of areas and products, including soya beans, was one of the Joint Statement's objectives, as agreed between Presidents Juncker and Trump on 25 July 2018. The European Commission is following up on its commitment and has been regularly publishing figures on EU imports of soya beans from the United States. Today marks the fifth update report on trade of soya beans with the U.S.

  • Compared to the first 42 weeks of the 2017/2018 marketing year (from July to mid-April), in the current market year EU imports of soya beans from the U.S. are up by 121% at 8,244,594 tonnes;
  • In terms of the EU's total imports of soya beans, the U.S. share is now at 72%, compared to 36% in in the same period last year. This puts the U.S. well ahead of Brazil (21%), the EU's second main supplier, followed by Ukraine (2.3%), Canada (1.8%) and Paraguay (0.7%).

In January 2019, the Commission concluded that U.S. soya beans meet the technical requirements to be used in biofuels in the EU, a decision that creates the conditions for these exports to grow further by expanding its market opportunities in Europe.

The United States is also the most important origin for EU agri-food imports in general. The latest figures show that from February 2018 to January 2019, the value of agri-food imports from the U.S increased by 14%. This represents an increase in value of €1.5 billion, mainly due to the increase in imports of soya beans, soya bean oilcakes and several other products.


The EU imports about 14 million tonnes of soya beans per year as a source of protein to feed our animals, including chicken, pigs and cattle, as well as for milk production. Soya beans from the U.S. happen to be a very attractive feed option for European importers and users thanks to their competitive prices.

Tuesday April 16, 2019/ EC/ European Union.
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