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Asian countries ban imports of German pigs and pork after ASF case

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Reuters reports that the suspensions are aimed at keeping ASF out of these countries.

Import bans will be a blow to German producers and push world pork prices to new heights. This price hike will also put pressure on China, where meat supplies are tightening.

China is the world’s largest meat buyer and Germany is its third largest supplier. The supply disruption comes as China faces an unprecedented pork shortage after its own ASF outbreak.

The ban on Germany, which has supplied around 14% of China’s pork imports so far this year, will increase demand for meat from other major suppliers like the United States and Spain, raising world prices. .

German pork exports to China are worth around 1 billion ($ 1.2 billion) per year, and volumes have doubled in the first four months of this year due to surging demand after Chinese production has decreased by about 20%.

A spokeswoman for the German Food and Agriculture Ministry confirmed the ban, adding that the ministry remains in talks with the Chinese government on the issue.

German farmers’ association DBV urged the German government to continue discussions with China on the use of a regional import ban affecting only the local area in which an ASF case has been found, rather than one. general national import ban.

The huge sales of pork from Germany to China involve huge volumes of pig ears, legs and tails. These are barely consumed in Europe and the ban has raised serious concerns among German farmers as to where they can now be sold, said DBV chairman Joachim Rukwied.

The ban, announced by the Chinese customs agency and its agriculture ministry, had been widely anticipated given Beijing’s history of moving quickly to implement bans in such cases.

He comes before Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a video link meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Union leaders.

Japan imported 40,240 tonnes of pork from Germany in 2019, or 3.3 percent of Japan’s total imports of 1.2 million tonnes of pork. Japan imported no live pigs in 2019, up from six in 2018.

Exporters poised for record profits

The Chinese, Japanese and South Korean bans are expected to benefit other major suppliers like the United States, Spain and Brazil.

“The Spanish white pork sector is fully prepared to continue its trend of growing sales of safe and quality pork products in the Chinese market”, said Friday September 11 Daniel de Miguel, international director of the organization. commercial Interporc, before the ban in China of German pork. .

Unlike other European countries, Spain has not had to close any pork processing plants due to coronavirus outbreaks in recent weeks, he added.

The United States is also “well positioned” to ship more pork to China, said Joe Schuele, spokesman for the American Meat Exports Federation.

US live pig futures soared on September 10 and 11 in anticipation of the ban.

African swine fever is spread through contact with bodily fluids of infected animals and can also be transmitted by people and trucks. It is almost always fatal in pigs and there is no cure or vaccine. It doesn’t hurt people.

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