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This Week's Pig Industry News

13 August 2012, at 11:40pm

ANALYSIS - US maize and soybean harvest estimates have been cut by 13 and 12 per cent, respectively, adding to concerns about future feed and food prices. A new report indicates the value of the global feed additives market at more than US$13 million last year and that the Asia-Pacific region will lead market growth in the next six years. Fears of the spread of African Swine Fever to other countries are growing as new outbreaks are reported in the Russian Federation.

The 2012 growing season began on a very optimistic note for US growers, with the fastest corn planting pace on record. However, hit by one of the worst droughts on record, US production is now forecast to be 10.8 billion bushels, down 13 per cent from 2011, according to the Crop Production report released on last week by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. This year’s soybean production is forecast at 2.69 billion bushels, down 12 per cent from 2011.

Wheat production remains largely unaffected by the drought and is forecast at 2.27 billion bushels, up 13 per cent from 2011.

The global animal feed additives market was worth US$13.5 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach $17.5 billion in 2018, according to a new report.

Transparency Market Research says that the global animal feed additives market will grow at a rate of 3.8 per cent from 2011 to 2018. In the overall global market, Asia Pacific is expected to maintain its lead position in terms of revenue until 2018. Asia Pacific is expected to enjoy 32.4 per cent of global animal feed additives market revenue share in 2018, followed by Europe.

The spread of African Swine Fever from the Caucasus to the east coast of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine presents an alarming and concerning situation.

One recent outbreak – discovered at the end of July and confirmed through PCR tests on samples taken from back yard pigs in the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine – is worrying because it represents not so much a gradual spread of the disease but a dramatic jump.

The outbreak has occurred 170 kilometres from the Russian border. Until then, the disease had been found mainly in the Tver, Ivanovo and Rostov regions to the north of Moscow, Bryansk and Smolensk to the west of Moscow and the Volgograd and Krasnodar regions to the south as well as outbreaks in Georgia.

The leap across the border into Ukraine is likely to mean that similar illegal transportation of pigs or pig meat products has taken place or that transport has travelled from infected regions without proper biosecurity measures being carried out.

The most concerning aspect of the latest outbreak in Ukraine, where three pigs on a back yard farm died of the disease and two others were destroyed is that the disease has now spread to another mainland Eastern European country.

The veterinary authorities in Russia have admitted that the disease is out of control in the country. Virtually every inspection made on farms in areas that are supposed to have tight biosecurity and sanitary measures in force has found breaches of the regulation.

Earlier this year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations’ Chief Veterinary Officer, Juan Lubroth, warned: “African swine fever is fast becoming a global issue.

“It now poses an immediate threat to Europe and beyond. Countries need to be on the alert and to strengthen their preparedness and contingency plans.“

Following the recent outbreak of ASF in Ukraine, the veterinary service in Russia has strengthened the control over the transportation of controlled products, mainly meats, including hand baggage and luggage of passengers, in the Kaliningrad region.

Also in Russia, a meeting is scheduled for 14 August at the Office of the Russian veterinary service (Rosselkhoznadzor) for Bryansk and Smolensk regions, aimed to agree measures to prevent the spread of ASF in wildlife.

Eleven new outbreaks of ASF were reported last week to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), starting between 19 July and 3 August in the regions of Krasnodar, Volgograd and Novgorod. More than 74,000 domestic pigs were affected and have been slaughtered.

And most recently, Rosselkhoznadzor has reported new ASF outbreaks in the Tver region and, for the first time, in the Kuban region, which is in the south of the country between the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea. There, more than 13,000 pigs on one farm were affected and the surrounding area contains more than 23,000 pigs.

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