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ASF has minimal impact on Philippine feed demand

While ASF has cut demand for animal feed elsewhere, USDA report says Philippine losses remain minimal thanks to effective controls in the region.

Philippines economy and financial market growth concept, 3D rendering
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While African swine fever has cut demand for animal feed elsewhere, the effects of the virus in the Philippines remains minimal

Although African swine fever (ASF) has cut demand for animal feed in multiple other countries, Philippine feed demand has seen a relatively smaller decrease, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Late 2019 reports suggest that the impact of the virus has not been as widespread in the island nation as elsewhere, leading the USDA to revise its 2019-20 feed wheat consumption estimates for the region. Though the agency originally expected to see a decline of 300,000 metric tons, it is now projecting a decrease of just 100,000 metric tons.

The Philippines’ pork production decreased just 1% in 2019, according to the USDA. According to the Foreign Agriculture Service team at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the effects of the virus have not been as widespread in the Philippines as in China or Vietnam largely thanks to the local geography — the Philippines’ more than 7,000 islands has hampered the spread of the virus.

The FAS team also credited the Philippine Department of Agriculture for successfully limiting the spread of the disease with cooperation from local governments and private partners. The Philippine Department of Agriculture has had success in containing foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza in the past, and has been able to replicate its success with ASF as well, the team reported.

However, the nation’s largest pork-producing islands have borne the brunt of local outbreaks. Central Luzon and Calabarzon collectively produce about one-third of the Philippine’s swine, and together they have lost about 3% of their herds.

Calabarzon saw an 8.4% increase in pork production last fall, a jump USDA attributes to attempts by farmers to get ahead of the virus by culling.

These losses, however, have been offset by increased production in other regions, according to the USDA. This has, in turn, boosted demand for feed in some regions, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao group of islands. USDA reports that Philippine feed demand is getting an additional boost as backyard farmers switch from swill to commercial feeding.

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