China’s outbreak of African swine fever will impact global trade in 2020, reports Forbes. The virus, which was first detected in China in August 2018, spread quickly as farmers and local officials were reluctant to report it. In addition, some of the measures taken by the government to contain the disease, including a transport ban, ended up spreading the disease by creating major price differences among regions, which then encouraged illegal sales of pork.
The disease has wiped out more than a third of China’s pig population and, in November, sent pork prices soaring to 110 percent higher than previous years. Though the Chinese government says that hog inventories are recovering, experts estimate that the country’s pig farming industry will take years to recover.
In the meantime, China’s pork imports will continue to grow in 2020. In 2019, pork imports were on pace to double to more than 2 million tons in 2019, a trend that will carry over into next year. Full Story