With ramifications of African Swine Fever more apparent than ever, China has been forced to think outside the box in terms of pork production. The shortage of pigs brings a shortage of pork, a main component of Chinese diets. According to CNN, Chinese authorities announced new measures aimed at boosting the supply of live pigs and stabilizing pork prices.
Loss in China
Whether from ASF itself or culling of pigs, Dutch bank Rabobank estimated China’s pig population will drop by a third. As the supply tightens, live hog prices continue to drive upward. Over the past year prices increased by 30 percent.
China’s loss of 13 million tons of pork — the equivalent of the entire yearly U.S. pork production volume — in the last year is compelling its leaders to move ahead with domestic action as some dealings for international help simmer.
The losses have pushed authorities to develop new plans for dealing with the supply shortage.
Authorities stepped in and asked city governments to help subsidize pig farms. Additionally, they are requiring banks to ensure farmers and pork processing companies have access to credit support or favorable insurance policies.
The mandate also orders mayors of cities within Guangdong to prioritize pig farmers and the owners of processing facilities for animals killed by the disease in their land use decisions.
As a result, mayors will be held responsible if local production doesn’t meet official quotas. Additionally, authorities said they’d reward consolidation of local butchering operations.
Trump Weighs In
Although talks with China will resume this week, President Trump doesn’t expect Beijing to make a deal anytime soon. He predicted Chinese officials will hold out for the 2020 presidential election. Trump feels they are hopeful a more flexible president will win.
Even so, pork produces remain hopeful a new deal with China will surface, eliminating the 62% tariff. The National Pork Producers Council estimates this tariff forced them to miss out on a sales opportunity of $1 billion per year.
Although hope remains, President Trump’s remarks coupled with China’s actions indicate otherwise.
ASF resulted in major swine production losses in China. This forced them to develop new plans surrounding the pork shortage. Authorities stepped in with new mandates as an attempt to meet government quotas. While trade talks will resume, President Trump doesn’t feel a deal will be reached anytime soon.
Don’t miss Ag Nook’s related story titled, “States Arm Themselves With Knowledge When It Comes to African Swine Fever Preparation“.
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