Pig prices take flight on back of African swine flu outbreak

An example of the required open pens. <a href="http://www.fin24.com/Multimedia/Pork-production-New-gestation-stalls-20131115">View gallery</a>. (Supplied)
An example of the required open pens. <a href="http://www.fin24.com/Multimedia/Pork-production-New-gestation-stalls-20131115">View gallery</a>. (Supplied)

Following an outbreak of African swine flu, pork producers saw a 30% increase in pork prices in the last two weeks, according to online agricultural platform Trigga Exchange.

Trigga Exchange said in an advisory that an outbreak in Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam and China led to as much as a third of the pig population from those producers being culled.

The pork price increase saw prices rise from R19.00 per kg to R25.00 per kg on the Trigga Exchange online platform.

The World Organisation for Animal Health describes African swine fever as a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs which can cause serious production and economic losses. There is currently no known approved vaccine for African swine flu.

The advisory said the outbreak in other markets resulted in up to a third of the pig population being culled, creating a global shortage of pork and the import parity of pork into South Africa.

"Since the China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs confirmed its first African swine fever outbreak… in August last year, 136 ASF outbreaks have been identified, resulting in 1 129 000 pigs being culled in an attempt to halt further spread of the disease, according to the Animal Production and Health division of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations," the advisory said.

In May, The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Monday that an outbreak of African swine fever had hit a fourth province. It has now been found in Gauteng, the North West, Mpumalanga as well as the Free State.

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