We visited the inaugural Animal Health Investment Asia conference. It was held in Hong Kong, there were a large mix of International, Chinese and Asian players from the animal health industry assemble together to learn about trends, new innovation, novel research and probably the most important to exchange ideas between each other in a neutral setting!
We were fortunate enough to interview some of the most exciting and innovative companies at the conference and we are delighted to share with you the insights that we gathered from our discussions.
Dr Yongsheng Wang of Jinyu Bio-Pharmaceutical commented that, “China’s largest challenge was management issues, how to produce more pigs per sow per year. The current industry average of 16 pigs per is well below those seen internationally. Some farms in China are already achieving 24 pigs per sow per year, the industry needs to learn those best practices and adopt new practices.”
Jinyu have taken steps to help improve farm performance. They have adopted two methods to improve farmer’s skills and knowledge.
Their first step is developing the Jinyu University. The university aims to educate farmers and to teach them how to be better farmers.
The second is the sponsorship of a pig production APP. The APP is designed to help small to medium sized farmers. The APP not only offers education but it enables farmers to find a vet close to them (it sounds a bit like URBER for pig famers) and to connect them to these vets but also to connect them to diagnostic labs to help them to accurately understand the disease they have and to thus correctly medicate.
One of the up and coming companies was Prevtec Microbia. Prevtec is form Montreal and is a new company and is a spin off from the University of Montreal. The company’s mission is “Better way to feed the planet”. I spoke with the President and CEO Michel Fortin and Michel believes there will be strong changes in the industry, there will be an increased focus on producing protein more sustainably and a large part of the sustainability part will be the prediction of animals with reduced antibiotic use.
Michel believes that the impact of antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals will continue to have an impact on the way the people think about raising animals the talk that we are seeing now will be amplified in the not too distant future. Governments will be under increasing pressure to legislate and we are seeing now that consumers are taking control and Quick Service Resturants are taking the lead in this area
Prevtec, albeit a new player on the market has managed to have 3 vaccines registered and ready for sale acorss the USA, EU and Latin American markets. They are keen to explore the opportunities in Asia.
We chatted recently in Hong Kong SAR with senior people in the Boehringer Ingelheim Company. We met with Stephan Lange, Vice President for Animal Health in China and Xu Lin, Business Development Manager for China.
Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is the largest family-owned multi-national company operating globally in animal health products, including vaccines and pharmaceuticals. Boehringer has large Research and Development laboratories in the USA, Germany and China, developing new vaccines and other modern technology products for the pig industry. The Boehringer has a strong tradition of bringing new and innovative products with great benefits to the global pig farming industry, such as its PRRS, PCV and ileitis vaccines, many of which are Asian and global success stories. Inside China however, the proportion of the market taken by Boehringer and other large multi-national companies is still quite low, at only around 10 % of the total market share. In 2016, the 90% of the market share is taken up by the total of 1,843 Chinese animal health companies, of which 101 are vaccine companies.
When asked about likely future trends for the pig industry in Asia, Stephan and Xu indicated that Boehringer sees the major shifts in the Chinese industry towards consolidation into larger farm enterprises. Many of these companies are now moving away from the traditional pig-dense locations around Shanghai and Beijing, towards locations in central and northern China. They predicted that within 10 years, 8 out of the top 10 pig production companies in the world will be located inside China. This rapid growth in the Chinese pig industry has created its own problems, with a need for management oversight of the operational details by more new and well-trained technical managers on these farms.
They also see shifts in Chinese and Asian pig industry away from therapeutic products, towards products aimed at prevention, such as more vaccine usage. They do note some on-going problems in this increased usage of vaccines in the Chinese pig industry, in terms of variable methods for delivery of vaccines from the manufacturer to the end usage in pigs. They also note the limited usage of standard research and diagnostic tools in the Chinese industry, such as controlled animal trials and serology, which may impact the usefulness of these new vaccines.
They also see a major trend in the way that companies like Boehringer interact and engage and inform people in the pig industry in China. They increasingly use digital technology such as WeChat and other digital forums, like pig333.cn, to provide strong data and information on animal health and nutrition. Boehringer is making major investments in digital infrastructure to keep a close and direct connection to the pig industry and its people. There is currently only limited data on the sales and performance of the 1,843 Chinese animal health companies, so the new digital technology can offer people in the Chinese industry a useful method to develop market research.
Jean-Luc Michel of Merial presented his views on the Global Challenges and Drivers for Animal Health Markets. Jean-Luc’s views focused on how the industry will look in 2050. The importance of Africa cannot be overlooked as it is set to double in the next 30 years compared to North America (10%) and Latin America (20%). There were some key points shared about how 2050 will look:
- 60% of population will be urban
- 80% of GDP will be generated in megacities
- Asia >50% of global GDP
- Largest GDP countries by 2050
The Animal Health Industry in 2050 will need to consider the growth of the Middle Class (especially the growth of the companion animal market at between 20 to 30% per year) and also ONE HEALTH a holistic consideration of humans, animals and the environment.
Animal Health Asia will return to Hong Kong in 2017! We are looking forward the second year of this conference that has developed a strong following and reputation in both the USA and Europe.