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Weekly Overview: China's Growing Pork Industry and US Meat Waste Evaluated

23 June 2014

GLOBAL - The rapid growth and development of China's pig meat sector were among the main themes explored at the World Meat Congress in Beijing last week. Pig numbers appear to be recovering in Viet Nam. Analysts in the US estimate that losses of meat, poultry and fish may account for 30 per cent of all food waste by value. And finally, there is news on swine fever outbreaks in Colombia and Russia, and PED in the US and the Dominican Republic.

In a further report from the World Meat Congress, which took place in Beijing last week, delegates heard how China is playing an increasingly important role on the international meat market, thanks to rising consumption, prices and imports.

Last year, China slaughtered more than 715.5 million pigs, producing nearly 55 million tonnes of pig meat and taking more than 50 per cent of total global production.

China is seeing a growth and development of its own meat processing sector with a focus on larger more integrated plants, with higher food safety standards and growing profitability, according to Meng Qingguo, president of the China Meat Association.

He Luli, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People’s Congress and honorary president of the China Meat Association explained that the Chinese government has placed great importance on meat products and processing.

Staying in Asia, according to the Genesus review of the pig meat sector in Viet Nam, pig numbers appear to be recovering. At 26.4 million, there were just 0.3 per cent more pigs on farms in the latest count than at the same time last year, which the authors attribute to more favourable hog prices and less disease, especially PRRS.

A recently published report from the USDA Economic Research shows that while meat, poultry and fish makes up 12 per cent of the volume of food waste in the United States, this food group accounts for 30 per cent of the value of those losses. Most of this waste was at the consumer level for the meat category.

Turning to disease outbreaks, reports of cases of swine fevers continue to roll in. Three outbreaks of Classical swine fever have been occurred in Colombia, adding to the country's problems with PED. In the last week, Russia has reported the deaths of nine wild boar and five domestic pigs from African swine fever in two different regions in the west and south-west of the country.

And finally, on porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED), the number of PED virus-positive samples continues to rise in the US but, as expected with the warmer weather, the rate appears to be slowing down. Arkansas has reported its first positive result, however, bringing to 31 the number of states affected. In Canada, hopes of eradicating PED are beginning to look achievable. PED has been blamed for the deaths of 26,000 pigs in the Dominican Republic.

Porcine Delta Corona virus (PDCoV) has been detected in 284 samples from US pig farms in 15 states.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock



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