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Healthcare

UPDATE 2-German pork exports to China, some other non-EU states not feasible -ministry

(Adds graphic and link to Factbox)

HAMBURG, Sept 11 (Reuters) - German pork exports to China and some other non-European Union countries are temporarily not feasible and have stopped after a case of African swine fever (ASF) was confirmed in a wild boar, Germany’s agriculture ministry said on Friday.

Germany’s pork exports to China are worth around 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) annually, but face disruption after the case of ASF in the state of Brandenburg, which is temporarily making essential declarations on export paperwork impossible.

The disease is not dangerous to humans but it is fatal to pigs and a massive outbreak in China, the world’s biggest pork producer, has led to hundreds of millions of pigs being culled.

The disease has caused two years of tight protein supplies in China, leading to more imports of other protein sources and falling consumer confidence in pork and food supply chains.

“Most veterinary certificates agreed for the export of pork from Germany include the statement that Germany is free from African swine fever,” a ministry spokesman said.

“This statement since yesterday can no longer be made on the certificates.”

German pork exports to EU countries are still continuing because of a regionalisation clause, where import curbs target the local region where the ASF case is discovered.

“The German government is currently holding talks with the relevant countries with the goal of revising the certificates with a regionalisation clause,” the ministry spokesman said.

German pig prices slumped almost 14% on Friday largely on fears the ASF outbreak will damage exports.

Major pork importers such as China often impose bans on imports from countries where ASF has been found, even if only in wild animals. South Korea, Germany’s second largest pigmeat customer outside the EU, has announced a ban on German pork imports.

“We are undertaking intensive talks with China and other non-EU countries to achieve a regionalisation clause,” the ministry spokesman said.

German farmers on Friday urged China to avoid a nationwide ban on imports of German pork. ($1 = 0.8450 euros)

Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by David Evans and Elaine Hardcastle

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