Magazine article Business Asia

Pork Crisis to Aid Exports

Magazine article Business Asia

Pork Crisis to Aid Exports

Article excerpt

Australian producers in demand

Malaysia's crippling pork crisis is expected to have positive long-term effects for Australia, with massive increases in pork exports to Singapore tipped to stay at high levels long after the crisis is averted.

Mr Raymond North, general manager of the Australian Pork Corporation, said the recent increased trade in chilled and frozen pork cuts and sides to Singapore would have ongoing benefits for Australian pig processors.

"We will retain a significant part of our business in Singapore," he said.

The viral epidemic in Malaysia's pig industry has devastated the country's domestic and export demand, as well as claiming more than 90 human lives.

The virus was thought to be Japanese encephalitis, but recent studies have shown the likely cause to be similar to the Hendra virus which killed horses and two people in Australia in 1994-95.

The new strain of the Hendra virus is believed to be passed on to humans through close contact with infected pigs and cannot be passed from person to person or by eating pork.

The crisis has so far affected more than 40 per cent of Malaysia's pig stocks and has put a substantial dent in the country's US$400 million industry.

Malaysian authorities have taken drastic measures to curb the problem, slaughtering more than 600,000 pigs already from a target of 850,000 as well as shutting down 2100 pig farms.

Malaysia was estimated to have supplied one million pigs to Singapore yearly.

Singapore has banned all live pig imports from Malaysia until the situation is resolved. …

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