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Winter Disease Surge Hampers China's Hog Production Recovery
USAgNet - 02/05/2021

A surge in hog disease outbreaks this winter in China, the world's biggest pork producer, will slow the industry's rapid recovery since the African swine fever contagion three years ago, according to industry participants and analysts.

China's pig herd rose 31% in 2020, according to official data, as the industry rebuilt. But more frequent outbreaks of swine fever are occurring in northeast and northern provinces along with a worse-than-usual rise in Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), said a manager at a pig farm supply company.

Reuters reports that the government's data on disease outbreaks on Chinese farms but analysts and industry participants note a surge in outbreaks of various diseases. As the world's biggest pork consumer, Beijing is under pressure to restore its hog supply and lower meat prices that remain at high levels, pushing up inflation and drawing in record imports.

PED is not usually fatal to grown pigs but can kill piglets. It is also more likely to infect young sows without immunity to it, said a veterinarian with a pig producer in southern China currently dealing with PED outbreaks.

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