Traders Spooked as African Swine Fever Keeps Spreading

Disease hits almost all China, 23 cities, provinces in Vietnam. China meal demand seen down for first time in more than decade.

The relentless proliferation of African swine fever on farms in East Asia is sending shivers through the region’s livestock industry, with more than a million hogs culled since the disease first appeared in August, and that’s just according to official tallies.

Demand for soybean meal, an essential ingredient for animal feed, is expected to shrink in China for the first time in more than a decade after the sickness spread to almost the entire country. The nation is the world’s biggest hog producer and top importer of soybeans. In Vietnam, the virus has reached 23 provinces and cities, while about 10 percent of the herd in Mongolia has perished or been destroyed since January. Thailand is keeping a close vigil after cases were reported in neighboring Cambodia.

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