From the Farm: African Swine Fever in China

The Morning Show

For lovers of Chinese food, pork is a common ingredient found in many meals, because the Chinese love their pork. But an outbreak of the deadly African Swine fever in China could mean major changes in that nation’s food consumption. Stu Ellis has our report from the farm and what it means for US pork producers.

Stu Ellis

The incurable African Swine fever is rampant in China among that nation’s 433 million hogs. That means China will have to import pork for immediate consumption as well as breeding stock to rebuild herds. Agriculture Secretary Perdue said that may bring a close to China’s trade war with the US.

Do you see African Swine fever and its expanse in China possibly being one of those pinchpoints that would create hunger in that may eventually cause them to come to the table on all of the other trade issues?

Secretary Perdue

Well, its not something we desire to see. We don’t want to see anyone, anywhere go hungry. But obviously different production failures in different parts of the world lead the markets, just like the drought we had her in 2012. We’ve benefitted. The reason we see lower prices today our farmers are so productive, and we’ve had good growing conditions, not just here but all over the world. But you’re obviously right, hunger drives a lot of wars and drives a lot of actions. While we don’t wish African Swine fever to spread into China, it could affect their decisions over what they would purchase.

Stu Ellis

China imported 8% more pork this year, and a 7% increase is planned in 2019, but its imposition of tariffs on imports of US pork has priced that commodity out of the market. But with African swine fever also rampant in Europe, China’s choice of breeding stock has been diminished. And global pork trade could look a lot different next year.

That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.

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