On Feb. 19, 2019, Vietnamese officials reported the country’s first confirmed findings of African swine fever (ASF). The disease was detected on three farms located in Hung Yen and Thai Binh provinces, southeast of Hanoi.
Prior to this announcement, Taiwanese authorities announced a finding of ASF-infected pork products from Vietnam, and the Philippines had suspended pork imports from Vietnam due to the detection of traces of ASF in Vietnamese pork products. In 2018 (through November) the Philippines imported just 26 mt of pork from Vietnam, valued at about $45,000. Taiwan has not reported any pork imports from Vietnam since 2016.
USDA estimates Vietnam’s pork production totaled 2.675 million mt last year, down 2 percent from 2017. Unlike the rest of the world, Vietnam’s hog prices were high last year, particularly in the second half as live hogs averaged $0.99/lb (up 54 percent year-over-year). Reported pork and pork variety meat exports to Vietnam last year totaled about 130,000 mt, up 130 percent from 2017. The EU exported nearly 80,000 mt to Vietnam, up 93 percent. U.S. exports exceeded 16,000 mt in 2018, up from less than 3,000 mt in 2017. Russia also reported significant exports to Vietnam (nearly 17,000 mt, up 240 percent) and Brazil’s exports jumped to 7,500 mt, up from 560 mt in 2017.
UPDATE: In mid-March 2019, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) advised Vietnam to declare the rapid spread of African swine fever (ASF) as a national emergency. Since the first confirmed case of ASF was reported in Vietnam in February 2019, 239 outbreaks have been reported in 17 provinces.
UPDATE: By mid-July 2019, ASF had spread to all provinces in Vietnam, resulting in the culling of more than 3 million pigs – about 10% of the country’s swine herd.