South African meat producers are likely to continue facing challenges this year, says Land Bank agricultural economist Karabo Takadi.
One of the biggest likely challenges is that the risk profile for the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was increasing, posing a potential risk to stakeholders in the pork industry.
“A large ASF outbreak would severely impact on South Africa’s exports, resulting in these markets closing. It is important for producers to implement effective biosecurity systems to ensure that diseases, such as AFS, are contained. This is crucial to ensure access to more export markets and the industry’s profitability.”
She emphasised that ASF is a serious disease if it gets out of control.
She noted that China, the biggest global producer and consumer of pork by volume is battling a major ASF epidemic.
Chinese pork production is expected to be about 30% lower this year as a result, which Takadi said would trigger an increase in meat prices globally, and provide some temporary support to South African pork prices.