BEIJING, CHINA — China’s overall feed demand is expected to decline due to  African swine fever (ASF) but expanded production in other animal protein sectors is anticipated to curb demand loss, according to a March 3 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

ASF was first detected in China in August 2018 and since then the USDA estimates the country’s swine herd has diminished between 40% to 60%.

“A leading hog producer estimates ASF could cut demand for feed by 25% this year, which would wipe out 23 million tonnes of corn consumption,” the USDA said.

Despite a decline in China’s swine herds, the country’s poultry and aquaculture production is on the rise.

The USDA said the increase in poultry feed is estimated to offset 65% to 70% of the hog feed loss.

China’s 2019-20 corn production is forecast at 260.8 million tonnes, up 3.4 million tonnes from the previous year. The country’s corn consumption remains unchanged at 264 million tonnes.

Even with an increased domestic production, corn imports are anticipated to hit 6 million tonnes in 2019-20 due to competitive foreign prices, the USDA said.

Improved domestic yields increased China’s corn stocks over 11.5 million tonnes. A decrease in auction purchases at state reserve sales were attributed to domestic feed demands and quality concerns.