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The German pig industry has been in great difficulty since the confirmation Thursday September 10 of a case of African swine fever in a wild boar in eastern Germany. Consequence: Asian markets are closed to German pork.
Without delay China, the main market for German pork, and South Korea, another major buyer, suspended their imports. On Monday, Japan followed suit. These three countries account for almost a quarter of German pork exports. As a result, the prices of German pigmeat have fallen by almost 14%. This is a major blow for this sector in Germany, the country being the leading producer of pork in Europe with a production of around 5 million tonnes per year, nearly half of which is intended for the foreign market.
For now, European Union member countries continue to import pigs from Germany, but only from regions that are not affected by the virus. German breeders’ organizations are asking the government to negotiate with Asian countries, especially China, so that they follow the European example. Because if the suspension of exports to these countries continues, the losses could be considerable for the pork sector in Germany. The German peasant confederation even mentions billions of euros in losses per year.
African swine fever, which is harmless to humans, is fatal for pigs and spreads very quickly. Since 2014, it has indeed spread rapidly in several countries in eastern Europe, such as Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Germany, which shares its borders with Poland, another country affected by the disease, has yet taken drastic measures for a year. The German government even built an electrified fence over 100 km long with Poland to prevent infected wild boars from entering Germany.