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Genesus Global Market Report - USA

Genesus Genetics discuss the potential impacts of an ASF outbreak in North America.

31 January 2019, at 9:42am

Someone recently asked me to clarify why I think hog futures are going higher. The outbreak of African swine fever in China, plain and simple.

Everyone is taking about it. It has spread throughout China and they are limiting the legal transportation of hogs. It is not stopping it and there is no way they can police it. For this reason, until there is an effective vaccine to eradicate the disease, China will always have the African swine fever in their pig population.

Imports will have to make up the difference. US officials have to be aware of this as do the Chinese. This trade dispute will get resolved eventually as China is up against a wall. When we finally get this issue resolved, I predict hog futures will go higher.

We do not need pork bailouts from the government. We need free and fair trade with China and the rest of the world. On a different note, if ASF finds its way to North America we will be having a different discussion.

I have visited with vets and they have told me they will restrict areas for the flow of pigs in which ASF is reported. I don’t think they have a clue how big of a negative effect it will have on the logistical flow of pigs.

No doubt, pigs will get euthanised and then the buyer of those pigs will have to find a new source. Pigs farther away will not be able to move from the area even if they are free of ASF.

Pigs are trucked all over the country and within North America, in many cases passing each other on the highway on their way to different plants or buyers. If it does arrive in the United States and the government gets involved it will be FUBAR – as my wife who was in the army would say – and solving the problem will be beyond difficult.