Market impact of PEDv spreading
Latest figures from the US show that the number of new cases of PEDv has begun to slow. As well as the US, where the impact has so far been greatest, PEDv has also been reported in several other countries.
Latest figures from the US show that the number of new cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) confirmed has begun to slow, having reached a peak of over 300 per week in February. By early May, the weekly number of new cases had fallen below 200, a development expected for this predominantly winter disease. Nevertheless, the cumulative number of cases is now approaching 7,000 and 29 states have been affected. PEDv is now starting to have an impact on US hog slaughterings. Since the beginning of March, throughputs at federally inspected plants have been 6% lower than a year earlier, representing an average weekly shortfall of over 100,000 head.
As the number of cases has reduced, US pig prices have also eased back from the peak level recorded in March. Nearby hog futures reached over $125 per 100lb in March but now stand at around $116, still more than $20 higher than a year ago. However, the August 2014 futures contract remains over $125 per 100lb as concerns about supplies over the summer remain.
As well as the US, where the impact has so far been greatest, PEDv has also been reported in several other countries. There have been 58 cases in Canada, mostly in Ontario, but with no new reported ones since the start of May. Outbreaks have also been recorded in Mexico and several other Latin American countries. Rabobank forecasts a near 10% drop in Mexican pork production this year and prices have risen sharply both there and in Canada.
Cases have also been reported in several Asian countries, including Japan, Korea and Taiwan, as well as China, where the new strain is thought to have originated. Having been found in these countries later than in the US, the market impact is only starting to be felt. Nevertheless, prices have begun to rise sharply on these markets too. For example, Japanese wholesale prices rose by over a third between January and April and were more than a quarter higher than a year before.