GERMANY, Berlin. After the first case of African swine fever (ASF) in a wild boar in Germany, fears of losing numerous export markets in third countries have been fulfilled.
After South Korea was the first country to stop the import of live pigs as well as pork and its products due to the loss of the status "ASF-free", Japan and Germany's most important third country customer China followed on the weekend. This means that a good two thirds of third country exports are blocked, if not more, because Mexico, Singapore, Argentina and Brazil are also said to have stopped imports.
"The export stop for China is of great concern to us. China is our most important export market for pork outside the EU. This is especially true for parts that are hardly ever consumed here," explained the President of the German Farmers' Association (DBV), Joachim Rukwied. Everything must now be done to combat ASF in wild boars and prevent it from spreading. The German Farmers' Association very much welcomes the fact that the Federal Government is holding intensive talks with China on regionalization. It must be possible, at least in the medium term, to continue supplying pork from ASF-free areas, said the DBV President.
Due to the arising market pressure, the Association of Producer Groups for Livestock and Meat (VEZG) last Friday corrected the German leading quotation for slaughter pigs downwards by 20 cents to € 1.27 per kg carcass weight. "The drastic reduction in producer prices on Friday is excessive and unacceptable. The crisis must not be exploited by processors and trade at the expense of farmers," warned Rukwied.
Dr. Torsten Staack, managing director of the Interessengemeinschaft der Schweinehalter Deutschlands (ISN), explained that with the import ban of China, "what many had feared has happened". Already since last Thursday, no veterinary certificates for export had been issued because Germany had lost its ASF freedom.
The sharp drop in the VEZG quotation has already factored this fact in, as well as further closures in other third country markets. "Therefore, this does not represent a further aggravation of the situation", Staack explained. The task now is to quickly create alternative marketing opportunities in meat marketing. In view of the current price level, it should also be possible to open up other sales valves quickly. It was also important, however, to continue negotiations with third countries in order to find solutions for opening up the markets that were now blocked.
Germany's largest processor of pork, the Tönnies Group, described the Chinese import ban as a severe blow for farmers and for Germany as a business location. It was now important to stabilize prices for farmers. A company spokesman emphasized this to the media. In addition, regionalization of the restricted areas was also needed in this country, because "an infected wild boar in Brandenburg must not prevent exports from the whole of Germany," the company announced through its spokesman André Vielstädte.