Expanding opportunities for US pork as ASF spread
As African swine fever continues to spread throughout Asia, meat processors are actively working to secure more imported pork.
Travis Arp with the US Meat Export Federation says the US is in a very good position to meet those import needs – especially in Vietnam which has been hit hard by the disease. “It is extremely widespread across the entire country and pork production has been significantly impacted,” he says. “Companies that might traditionally use many domestic pork products for their further processed finished products are now looking to imported raw materials.”
Arp says the disease was confirmed in the Philippines in early September, another country where the population consumes a lot of pork. “Given the amount of products they produce on the further processed side and consume there domestically there’s going to be a continued demand for pork from all over the world in order to meet their demand needs,” he says.
Vietnam’s ASF-related hog losses are estimated at 4.7 million head and its hog inventory has dropped 19 percent from the beginning of the year. The Philippine government estimates about 20,000 pigs have either died or been culled to further prevent the spread of the disease.
African Swine Fever does not impact people and poses no food safety risks, but it is highly contagious and is a deadly virus that affects hogs. It was first found in China last August and has since spread to Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines, and North Korea. It was also confirmed this week in East Timor.