China is facing the grim reality of its massive hog industry taking a huge blow due to African swine fever.
The BBC has reported China has already culled about 40 million hogs. This came after more than 120 cases of African swine fever were found in most parts of China. Rabobank has issued a projection that culling numbers could top 200 million in months to come.
Not only is this situation bad news for pork processors and consumers, it’s also devastating for soybean, canola and rapeseed producers all over the world.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics gave the world a heads-up last week that pork prices could skyrocket by 70 per cent later in 2019. As pork supplies diminish, it appears the world’s appetite for pork will not.
With China having about half of the world’s hog population, and cases of African swine fever in Vietnam and parts of Eastern Europe, hundreds of millions of hogs are at risk. Getting and keeping control of this vicious disease’s spread is paramount.
That’s not only to keep the world supplied with enough pork to eat, but also for soybean and oilseed producers.
Soybean growers in the United States are very dependent on a trade deal being signed by the U.S. and China, which has been said to be a boon for the market. That remains to be seen, as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping aren’t scheduled to sign the document until June at the earliest.
In Canada, the canola industry is aching for China to eventually lift its import ban. Whenever such comes to fruition, China’s demand for canola likely won’t be what had been in 2018.
When China does get a hold of its African swine fever outbreak, the country’s hog industry will take at least a few years to recover. That too will affect bids for soybeans, canola and other oilseeds.