China bans South African wool imports due to foot-and-mouth disease outbreak

China has banned the import of all cloven-hoofed animals and their merchandise from South Africa due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in three provinces.

In 2019, China enforced the same ban that lasted for eight months, closely impacting the nation’s wool trade, which, like Australia, exports the vast majority of its merchandise to China.

The affected provinces within the latest outbreak embody North West, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Limpopo, with trade consultant, Cape Wool South Africa, warning the ban would have “a large influence on many industries in South Africa”.

“Not least of which is the wool trade which, of the 45 million kilograms produced every year, exports roughly 80 per cent of this annual wool clip, within the type of greasy wool, to China,” it mentioned in an announcement.

“Exports might resume solely as soon as a number of new measures have been applied as required by China.

“These measures included registration of amenities to export to China and inactivation of the FMD virus, as detailed by the World Organisation for Animal Health.”

A market hole

Fox and Lilli Rural nationwide wool brokerage supervisor Eamon Timms mentioned any results on the Australian market would rely upon the size of the ban, which remained unclear.

Wool sits on a  table
Similar to Australia, South Africa exports 80 per cent of their wool to China.(ABC New England North West: Lara Webster)

“An identical state of affairs occurred in 2019 and, at that time available in the market cycle, our market was at traditionally pretty excessive ranges so there wasn’t a major uptick available in the market,” he mentioned

“The size of that is going to decide how a lot curiosity would possibly circulate into the Australian market as a result of South Africa principally produces merino.

A warning for Australia

South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is at present endeavor a vaccination marketing campaign for cattle within the outbreak’s disease administration space.

Mr Timms mentioned it was a well timed warning for Australia about what might occur if there was a FMD outbreak right here. 

“We’ve actually solely seen this occur in South Africa and, if it have been to happen in Australia, it could be catastrophic,” he mentioned.

He mentioned it was “essential” that the federal government invested in preparedness.

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