China’s optimistic ASF report is questioned


China’s optimistic ASF report is questioned

China’s Ministry of Agriculture says reported cases of African swine fever dropped significantly in the first quarter of the year and reports that Chinese hog production is recovering.

However, Arlan Suderman with INTL FCStone says analysts in his company’s Shanghai office tell a different story.

“Our people there say it’s simply not happening. Are there some success stories? Yes, but they’re matched by failures as well,” Suderman says. “When you look at actual feed demand—if we talk to those who we have contact with in the feed industry—that feed demand is pretty soft right now, suggesting that the hog numbers are still way down.”

Suderman says the analysts believe many new cases of ASF are not being reported.

“There’s such an incentive right now for local officials not to report, because it makes they look bad and could see them removed from office if they don’t have control of ASF—so they’re not reporting it,” he says.

At a news conference last week, a Chinese Ag Ministry spokesman said they have received only four reports of ASF this year.

AUDIO: Arlan Suderman

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