context: The full extent of African swine fever (ASF)’s 2018 financial impact revealed itself in listed companies’ 2018 financial reports. MARA says combatting the disease will be a long term effort, requiring sustainable prevention and control measures. Companies confident in their ability to prevent the disease may expand production capacity seeking to profit as pork prices rise in the coming year.

The spread of ASF has slowed since December 2018, says Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), and as of 1 February 2019, restrictions have been lifted on 92 previous epidemic areas in 23 provinces, reports Xinhua. Remaining challenges include

  • enforcing a prohibition on feeding kitchen waste
  • supervising live pig transportation
  • strengthening inspection during slaughter
  • speeding up designation of regions for ASF prevention and control
  • stabilising live pig production capacity and pork supply

Despite fewer new cases of the disease, ASF has damaged the pig feed, farming and processing industries and these impacts will persist, says Feed Trade. Poor financial performance was widespread among listed companies with involvement in the pig farming industry, including pig feed and veterinary drug supplier Shenzhen Jinxinnong, and Chuying Agro-Pastoral, a ‘dragon head’ enterprise in pig farming. Chuying’s latest estimates show net losses of 1.9 to 3.3 billion for 2018, reports JRJ. Jinxinnong estimates 2018 net losses at 240 to 290 million, a sharp decline from 2017 profits of 67.6 million. Falling pig prices and constrained capacity resulting from restrictions on pig transportation and culls are cited as key factors.