Market News & Headlines >> China Reports 50th ASF Outbreak

African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China, with government officials on Monday reporting the 50th outbreak of the disease since early August, when it was first detected in that country.   

The latest case was found in the southern province of Hunan on a small farm of 119 pigs. ASF has so far reached 14 different Chinese provinces and municipalities. Most of the early incidences of ASF were in northeastern and central China, but many recent cases have been  in southern China, where pork consumption is highest. 

The vast majority of China’s ASF cases have been on small farms. The government has linked feeding of kitchen waste to pigs to the majority of cases and has banned that practice, but it has not given a cause in the other cases. 

Analysts told Reuters News Service that the country's feed sector might have been contaminated, suggesting risks were high that the disease would continue to spread quickly. "It is likely that the source of contamination is feed products. The outbreak situation is very severe," said Yao Guiling, an analyst with consultancy China-America Commodity Data Analytics. 

Infected hogs may still be reaching the food chain, however, as Taiwan last week reported it had found the ASF virus in an imported sausage product made by top Chinese pork processor Shuanghui.