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FACTBOX-German pig sector as African Swine Fever confirmed in wild boar

Sept 10 (Reuters) - A case of African Swine Fever has been confirmed in a wild boar in eastern Germany, raising the possibility that key customers such as China could ban shipments from the country.

South Korea banned imports of pork from Germany on Thursday. The agriculture ministry said the ban will apply to pork leaving Germany from Sept. 10 onwards.

China banned shipments from Belgium in 2018 shortly after two cases of ASF in wild boar were confirmed. The disease is not dangerous to humans but fatal to pigs.

Here are some facts about Germany’s pig sector.

GERMAN PRODUCTION

* In 2019, Germany was the European Union’s largest pork producer, slaughtering 55.1 million pigs, just ahead of Spain’s 53.0 million, according to EU data.

* German production has, however, been declining partly due to waning domestic demand and the number of pigs slaughtered last year was the lowest since 2008.

* Pig farming in Germany is mainly concentrated in the north-west, in the states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. The case of ASF was in Brandenburg, which is hundreds of kilometres to the east of the main producing area.

GERMAN EXPORTS

* Germany ships a lot of pork and pork products to other EU countries, most notably Italy, but its most important export market outside the trading bloc is China.

* In 2019, Germany exported 601,015 tonnes of pork and pork products to China including 323,363 tonnes of frozen meat and 244,176 tonnes of offal which include internal organs such as the liver and heart.

* Exports from Germany to China rose sharply last year from 356,980 tonnes the previous year as the Asian country tackled its own outbreak of ASF.

* South Korea is the second most important non-EU market for German pork and pork products with exports totalling 106,309 tonnes in 2019.

* Spain has overtaken Germany in recent years as the top EU supplier to China with exports in 2019 totalling 635,653 tonnes.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt, graphic by Gavin Maguire; editing by David Evans

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