BEIJING: China confirmed on Wednesday the first African swine fever outbreak in southern Guangdong province, as the highly contagious disease continues to spread through the world’s largest hog herd.
The outbreak in Zhuhai city in Guangdong province killed 11 animals in a slaughterhouse, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website.
Guangdong is a major pork consuming region and heavily relies on supplies from other provinces. The first outbreak of the disease reported there will likely further push up prices in the region, analysts said.
Hog prices in Guangdong province were around 16 yuan (US$2.32) per kg on Wednesday, up 10 percent since early August, when the country reported its first African swine fever outbreak, according to data provided by consultancy China-America Commodity Data Analytics, due to a ban on live hog transport.
“Supplies in Guangdong have been quite tight already and prices are expected to jump in the long term in the region following the new outbreak,” said Yao Guiling, an analyst with the consultancy.
“In the very short term, prices might drop, as more farmers might rush to send their pigs to slaughter following the outbreak,” said Yao.
Zhuhai is about 3,000 km from Shenyang in Liaoning province, where the country’s first outbreak of the disease was found.
China has reported about 90 cases since then.
Beijing banned transport of live pigs from regions found with outbreaks and neighbouring provinces, in an effort to contain spread of the disease.
The disease is deadly for pigs but does not harm humans.
The table below shows the number of cases by province, according to data reported by the ministry.
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and David Evans)