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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

ASF in China Affecting World Meat Prices


According to a September 24th review in The Wall Street Journal, correspondents Lucy Craymer and Jacob Bunge noted the effect of increased imports of pork, beef and chicken by China on World prices for meat. Imports by China are necessary to compensate for losses attributed to African swine fever since between 35 and 55 percent of the national herd may have been lost. The most populous nation in the world now consumes 120 pounds of pork per capita and losses have created a demand for imported animal protein.  China will produce 89 billion pounds of pork in 2019 compared to 120 billion pounds in 2017 before the advent of ASF.  An independent prediction for 2020 is even more precarious and availability may dip to 75 billion pounds.



Between May and July imports of pork, chicken, beef and mutton soared 70 percent to a value of $5 billion.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recorded a 10 percent rise in the global meat price index year to date.  Brazil appears to be the beneficiary of demand from China with shipments of poultry increasing by one-third during the first half of 2019 compared to the corresponding period in 2018.  Craymer and Bunge note that consumers in the EU are paying at least 5 percent more for pork based on imbalance between available supply and demand.

Depending on the outcome of negotiations with China it is possible that U.S. producers of both pork and poultry may benefit.  Recently China reduced the punitive duty on imported pork although state owned import companies are usually exempt from tariffs.  Notwithstanding imports and release of frozen inventory, the price of pork in China has increased by approximately 40 percent year to date with substitution of chicken.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane