Last August, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs confirmed that the African swine fever (ASF) spread to the Liaoning Province in China and then to all of China's provinces, including Cambodia and Vietnam.
Last week, ASF infected hogs were found in North Korea.
Pork is the most widely consumed protein in the world and China is the country that not only consumes this meat the most but is the biggest producer.
As reported by "Forbes," "China consumes about 56 billion pounds of pork per year, more than half of total global consumption. Likewise, the Chinese hog herd numbers more than 440 million head, which is nearly three times larger than all of Europe and almost six times larger than the U.S., the second largest pork-producing nation."
Although the ASF viral disease cannot be transmitted to humans, it is almost always fatal to the hogs. So far, there's no treatment or vaccine for the disease. So the only measure that can be taken is to contain the ASF infected.
Because of the spread of the contagious disease, 80 percent of hog producers are no longer restocking their herds since they likely won't survive with the disease outbreak, according to China's Ministry of Agriculture recent estimates.
"Rabobank, the Dutch global ag financing giant, estimates that between 150 and 200 million hogs and pigs have been infected with the deadly disease and will be lost. Compare that to the total U.S. harvest of barrows and gilts for pork production in 2018 of 124 million head. In other words, China will not be able to import enough pork to offset its production losses, and the ravages of ASF will ripple through the global market," writes "Forbes."
U.S. producers have taken precautions as well.
Earlier this year, the U.S. National Pork Producers’ Council canceled its annual World Pork Expo to keep attendees from ASF regions from coming in contact with unaffected producers.
Read more about the ASF outbreak at "Forbes" now.
A few years ago, we pulled Foodable Labs data on the most loved protein and pork landed at the top of our list. But will ASF have a negative impact when it comes to consumer sentiment? Watch the video below to learn more about the most loved proteins.