Chinese veterinary institutes identified new strains of the deadly hog disease in November and December of 2020. Those strains spread to a large portion of the herd before being detected. | File photo

Observers report that China’s hog recovery has stalled

A resurgence of African swine fever in China has stalled the swine herd recovery that helped trigger the bull run in grain markets, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Swine numbers are not likely to rebound until at least mid-2021,” the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service stated in a recent report. And that is assuming […] Read more

An analyst doesn’t believe that the full recovery the Chinese government is predicting this year for the country’s hog herd will happen or that the herd has already recovered to 80 to 90 percent of the pre-African swine fever number. | File photo

Losses to new ASF wave may be 30 percent

Pig density, poor biosecurity and ineffective control are thought to be behind sustained waves of the disease in China

China’s hog sector is in its third wave of African swine fever primarily due to a mutated strain of the virus, says an international swine management consultant. Todd Thurman, who owns SwineTex Consulting Services and typically spends about half his year in China, said the mutated virus is less deadly but harder to identify. “Most […] Read more

Chinese veterinary institutes identified new strains of the deadly hog disease in November and December of 2020. Those strains spread to a large portion of the herd before being detected. | File photo

China’s hog recovery reported to be stalled

A resurgence of African swine fever in China has stalled the swine herd recovery that helped trigger the bull run in grain markets, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Swine numbers are not likely to rebound until at least mid-2021,” the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) stated in a recent report. And that is […] Read more


African swine fever has ravaged China’s enormous swine industry and has spread across much of Asia and into Europe.  | Reuters photo

Hog sector continues to prepare for African swine fever

A multi-pronged national strategy is designed to keep out the disease and co-ordinate a response if it does arrive

A grim spectre hung over the Manitoba Pork Council’s annual meeting, but it wasn’t the pandemic. “The threats are growing,” new Manitoba Pork Council general manager Cam Dahl said during the April 16 meeting. “We see the threats of foreign animal disease increasing and we all know the significant impact and repercussions if it does […] Read more

A new variant of the African swine fever disease is spreading in China putting the brakes on the expansion of the hog herd and the consumption of soybean meal and feed grains. | Reuters photo

ASF resurgence in China may slow feedgrain imports

China’s soybean consumption is slowing as a new wave of African swine fever takes hold in that country, says an analyst. The country’s hog herd had been rebounding from the disease much faster than many analysts had anticipated, but there has been a setback in that recovery. A new variant of the disease is spreading […] Read more


Wild pigs could be an uncontrollable factor if ever infected with African swine fever. | File photo

Canada, U.S. agree on plan if ASF infects wild pigs

Wild pigs are a worry in Canada and the United States for reasons beyond the damage they do to farms, pasture land and ecosystems. They could be an uncontrollable factor if ever infected with African swine fever. Though the fatal swine illness has not yet arrived in North America, it devastated China’s hog population and […] Read more

Industry insiders believe that use of illicit vaccines has caused a new, chronic form of African swine fever, which causes a debilitating condition that can lower output of hogs but is more difficult to detect. | Getty Images

China vows action on fake African swine fever vaccines

BEIJING, China (Reuters) — China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has vowed to crack down further on illegal production and sales of African swine fever vaccines, signalling the extent of a problem damaging the world’s largest pig industry. The ministry, which has been warning against such behaviour since 2019, said tougher measures were needed […] Read more

New variants of the African swine fever virus are causing a second wave of disease this winter in China.  | Reuters photo

China’s struggle with ASF variants may hike pork imports

Canada posted a record for pork exports in 2020, and as new variants of African swine fever spread in China and elsewhere in Asia there is a good chance off-shore pork movement could again be strong in 2021. Canada exported $5.09 billion of pork in 2020, up 20 percent from the $4.25 billion exported in […] Read more


Corn’s share of the hog industry’s feed ration has increased to 75 percent since African swine fever devastated China’s hog herd.  |  Reuters/Dominique Patton photo

ASF may boost China’s corn imports

Producers removed 30 million tonnes of food waste from their hogs’ diets following the African swine fever outbreak

Heading into 2020-21, analysts were convinced that African swine fever would minimize China’s corn imports. They were wrong. What it did was eliminate about 30 million tonnes of food scraps being fed to hogs in that country, said Bryan Lohmar, China director for the U.S. Grains Council. Instead, rations comprising corn and soybeans have now […] Read more

Previous to the African swine fever outbreak, China produced roughly half of all the pigs in the world. | Reuters photo

China pork estimates hard to gauge

China’s claims that it has regained 90 percent of the hog production lost during an outbreak of African swine fever are not gaining traction among North American hog and livestock market analysts. Through disease losses followed by precautionary slaughter beginning in 2018, China is thought to have lost more than 40 percent of its herd, […] Read more