September 22, 2017
China Animal Health Update (Sep 2017)
An eFeedLink Exclusive
By LI AN-MING and NGOH SENG KEONG
A review of livestock farming in September
Entering September, chicken and hog farming enjoyed more pleasant climates, seeing disease rates due to the hot summer climates drop substantially. Highly contagious diseases such as bird flu disease and foot-and-mouth disease received no outbreak reports. Currently, the greatest challenge to the livestock industry is the state environmental inspection.
As of mid-September, hog prices stayed around RMB15/kg with demand stable and supplies slightly tight due to low hog population. Cooler and drier climates helped to reduce the diarrhea rates among piglets, which dropped from 30% during summer to a mere 10% in September.
However, the wide temperature swings between day and night resulted in higher infection rates of respiratory diseases, slowing the growth and weight gain of pigs. This pushed up the feed expenses in hog farming.
Egg prices remained at a high of RMB9.20/kg despite some signs of weakening of late. The supply crunch resulting from diminished layer inventories would persist for some time.
In Shandong and provinces that were under environmental inspection, prices of AA broiler surged over RMB7.20/kg. However, even as profit margins were high, chick prices dipped below RMB2/bird, as farmers refrained from buying chicks that would reach finishing weight during October, a period where demand for chicken is traditionally sluggish.
Disease rates were relatively low among poultries thanks to the cool weather. Newcastle disease, Bursal disease and Marek disease were well controlled in large-scale farms. Poultry producers now put their attention on the prevention of respiratory diseases, which would worsen as the weather temperatures fall. Other concerning diseases were Bronchitis, broiler airsacculitis and arthritis, as medications were less effective than expected. Mycotoxins are the main causes of these diseases, and the preservation of feed is hence of utmost importance.
The fourth round of environmental inspection, which lasted for about a month, would end soon. However, the stringent measures will stay, and many farms are ordered to shut down or relocate. The immediate consequence is the tightening of animal supplies. As stricter pollution requirements would lift farming expenses as well as the costs of feed additives (due to supply shortages of raw ingredients), livestock farming would face higher production costs in the long term.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Agriculture is seeking opinions for the revision of "Standards to safe usages of feed additives". Six new categories covering 50 types of feed additives including vitamins, non-protein nitrogen, acidifiers among others, will be added. Moreover, standards for the usages of trace minerals of copper, zinc and other metals will be revised. These advancements will help to clean up animal husbandry pollution from the sources.
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