Feed demand not hurt by African swine fever

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The effects of the African swine fever on the country’s demand for feeds may not be as severe as expected as the spread of disease is now tapering off.

In its latest report, the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service said the Philippine government’s measures on the movement of hogs, pork products, and feed ingredients have slowed the spread of ASF.

USDA has lowered its feed wheat consumption estimate for the year from a decline of 300,000 metric tons to just 100,000 MT.

“The Philippines has been successful in limiting the disease’s spread to the island of Luzon, although key production areas remain affected and contacts report downward pressure on feed and pork demand,” USDA said.

With the drop in pork consumption, larger farms are managing the decline by lowering their inventories.

USDA said the effect on feed wheat consumption is likely to be lower than the previous projection due to several factors.

“The decrease in hog feed demand will be partially offset by the switching of backyard hog farmers from swill to commercial feeding. Another is that stronger feed demand is expected from hog raisers in the Visayas and Mindanao group of islands, as they ramp up production to serve the pork needs of Luzon,” USDA said.

The occurrence of ASF has waned in recent weeks, but data from the Philippine Statistics Authority through September 2019 showed that hog inventories are down nearly one percent year over year.

The two regions severely affected by ASF, Central Luzon and Calabarzon, represent over one third of total pork production and nearly 30 percent of the hog inventory.

This year, Central Luzon has produced 1.5 percent less pork in the third quarter, while Calabarzon saw production rise 8.4 percent, likely boosted by increased slaughter as farmers tried to arrest the spread of ASF’s.

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