HANOI, VIETNAM — African swine fever (ASF) has spread to all 63 provinces of Vietnam leading to the culling of about 5.9 million pigs — about 22% of the country’s swine population — according to a Dec. 12 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As a result, live hog prices have soared to record highs, increasing by 35% to 40% since September.

“Immediate impacts due to ASF have been felt by different sectors of the economy, though it is challenging to quantify the cumulative economy-wide losses to date,” the USDA said.

The good news, according to the USDA, is that the outbreak, which was first detected in Vietnam in February, is showing signs of slowing down.

“The number of ASF-infected communes and the number of culled pigs has dropped sharply since June 2019,” the USDA said. “According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in November there were 152,000 culled pigs, down 88% compared to May.”

MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong warned that although the spread of ASF has slowed, it is not certain that this trend will continue.

ASF was first detected in China in early 2019 and has since spread to dozens of Asian and European countries.

Earlier this week, Rabobank released a report noting that ASF continues to spread across Asia with a possible second wave of outbreaks in northern China.