China continues to battle African Swine Fever, which was first reported in August this year. Since then, over 90 cases of the disease have been confirmed, crippling the top-pork consuming country’s hog industry. Movement and trade of hogs have been suspended nationwide since August as officials worked to eradicate the disease.
But with the disease spreading rapidly, and supplies and production dropping, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently announced that transportation of live animals can resume. Hogs from areas without confirmed outbreaks can now be transported to other provinces to help alleviate supply reductions. Unlike previously, hogs residing in already-infected areas will be allowed to move, but only within the province.
The disease has spread to a total of 20 provinces and cities, most recently hitting the city of Beijing. The 25 percent tariff placed on US pork products this past July during the US-China trade war has only made the resulting shortage worse. China is the world’s top pork consumer, and planned to reduce pork imports by increasing domestic production. Pork prices will start to hurt consumers, as prices have already jumped over 9 percent since August. If African Swine Fever is not eradicated soon, the Chinese economy as a whole could be in trouble.
China has been struggling with outbreaks of African Swine Fever since August this year. Domestic consumption (line) will exceed production (bars) this year, and a tariff-inspired decline in US pork imports could further threaten Chinese consumers.