Global production to benefit from outbreak in China (Poultry Diagnostics)
(Editor’s note: Daniel Bautista is a director of Lasher Laboratory at the University of Delaware.)
Total world production of pork will decline in 2019 with poultry in position to wrest the crown from pork as the world’s most consumed meat protein.
The International Poultry Council took stock of the global protein outlook at its first semester meeting in 2019.
Poultry is positioned to become the world’s most consumed meat protein in 2019 as an African swine fever spreads in pig herds across China.
The upheaval in meat proteins is being driven by African swine fever epidemic and severe loss in pig herds in three continents and 15 countries.
Food and agribank Rabobank foresees that herd losses due to ASF and thus pork production, mainly in China, will lead to a major change in worldwide trade of meat supply and consumption.
In 2019, Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25-35 percent due to ASF.
Since its discovery in August 2018, ASF has spread to every province in mainland China.
With the disease now affecting an estimated 150-200 million pigs, equivalent to a 30-percent loss in Chinese pork production.
This much loss is 30 percent larger than U.S. pork’s annual pig production and equivalent to Europe’s entire annual pork supply.
Even if the disease is stopped in its tracks, which is unlikely, it will take at least three to five years for pig production to recover, because the pig breeding stocks are affected too.
The huge pig meat deficit cannot easily be replaced by other proteins like chicken, duck, seafood, beef, and sheep meat, nor will large imports be able to fully offset the loss.
However, the cards are in the favor of chicken production. As the poultry industry has a relatively short production cycle, it can shift gears quickly to the new market conditions.
Christine McCracken, senior protein analyst at Rabobank, told IPC members, “Poultry is the meat protein with the most to win.”
Market access to China can be a hurdle for foreign chicken producers, but with the lack of poultry parent stock in China and the estimated 10 million metric tons of supply gap of animal protein, the Chinese government is expected to reconsider their current restrictive position on poultry imports, especially from the United States.
The USDA-Economic Research Service released production and consumption data on May 16 for U.S. broilers and turkeys covering 2018 and 2019, together with a projection for 2020.
Broiler data for 2019 was essentially unchanged from the April 2019 report.
Production in 2019 will increase by 0.9 percent compared to 2018 to 19.541 million metric tons (42,990 million pounds) raw chicken/ready to cook.
Per capita consumption was increased for 2019 from the April report to 42.3 kilograms (92.6 pounds).
Exports will represent 16.5 percent of RTC production in 2019 attaining 3.230 million metric tons (7.106 billion pounds).
This is based on the presumption that the recently concluded USMCA will be approved by Congress and by the legislatures of Canada and Mexico
ASF outbreaks are ravaging pork production mostly in the Asia and Europe, but the biggest impact is in China where nearly one-half of the world’s pigs are raised.
Herds there are being hard hit by a disease that results in 100-percent mortality of infected stock and for which no vaccine exists.
The disease, which has been in Russia and Eastern Europe for several years, was found in China in August 2018 and is spreading to Southeast Asia and Vietnam (the world’s fifth largest producer of pork).
A small outbreak in the European Union has threatened exports there. African Swine Fever is a devastating, deadly disease that would have a significant impact on U.S. livestock producers, their communities and the economy if it were found here.
Currently, ASF is not present in North America. There is no treatment or vaccine available for this disease.
The only way to stop this disease is to depopulate all affected or exposed swine herds.
In Canada, the pork industry contributes to more than 100,000 jobs and generates close to $24 billion when farms, inputs, processing and pork exports are included.
Canada is the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume and represents about 20 percent of world pork trade.
In 2017, 1.2 million tons of Canadian pork valued at $4 billion were exported to more than 100 countries. In the United States, pork producers marketed more than 120 million hogs in 2017, which provided total cash receipts of more than $20 billion, and provided about 25 billion pounds of meat to consumers worldwide.
Additionally, the U.S. pork industry supports more than half a million jobs in the United States, the majority of those in rural areas.
The USDA is working closely with other federal and state agencies, the swine industry, and producers to take the necessary actions to protect our nation’s pigs and keep this disease out.
This group is also actively preparing to respond if ASF were ever detected in the United States.
On-farm biosecurity is crucial to preventing any animal disease from developing and spreading.
All pig owners and anyone involved with pig operations should know and follow strict biosecurity practices to help protect U.S. pigs from ASF.
International travelers could unknowingly bring back this disease from an ASF-affected country, especially if they visit farms.
Some food items may carry disease and threaten domestic agriculture and livestock.
If you go to an ASF-affected country, do not bring back pork or pork products.
“China produces 98 percent of its pork, so a forecasted 30 percent decline in supplies there by year’s end will lead to a decline in total world protein supplies in 2019,” McCracken said.
Presiding IPC president Jim Sumner of the U.S. agreed, saying, “African swine fever is decimating China’s leading meat protein industry, and chicken is the logical alternative.”
He pointed to the opportunities for world poultry producers, noting other animal diseases in China like Foot and Mouth Disease and Highly Pathogenic Influenza may further complicate the picture for China’s pork and poultry producers.
Sumner concluded: “China produces 50 percent of the global pork supply, and having lost 30 percent of its herd to ASF, there is no doubt that poultry is now king of the meat proteins worldwide.”
Economists at the meeting agreed that poultry consumption will surpass pork consumption worldwide in 2019.
Dr. Paul Aho predicted pork production will drop 15 percent worldwide in 2019.
“From there pork will increase 5 percent per year for four years,” he said, “and then continue increasing at a more modest 2 percent average per year. Meanwhile, poultry will increase 3 percent per year for three years (spurred in part by a shortage of pork) before dropping down to an average increase of 2 percent per year,” he said. “Poultry will surpass pork in production this year and will never relinquish the crown by my reckoning,” Aho said.
Addressing global barriers to trade is another IPC goal.
“The ultimate evidence of our success will be fewer trade barriers and a safer food supply,” Sumner said.
The IPC was formed in 2005 by leading poultry-producing countries to determine areas of common interest and develop policies for the overall betterment of the global industry.
The organization currently has 29 country members and 56 associate members representing more than 88 percent of the world’s poultry production and 95 percent of the poultry trade.
(Editor’s note: For references and further resources on this topic, visit: https://www.internationalpoultrycouncil.com/ipc-on-the-press/ipc-press-releases/poultry-is-king-of-proteins-in-ipc-outlook.)
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