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Chinese pork prices remain steady as consumption falls and US imports are cancelled

17 May 2019, at 9:45am

Though low supply due to African swine fever should mean increased prices for pork, decreased consumption and cancelled imports keep prices at the same level.

According to reporting from Reuters UK and Reuters Germany, multiple factors are keeping pork prices in China from increasing. UK reporting indicates that consumption of pork is falling in China due to the continuing ASF epidemic. This trend could indicate that news of the disease is negatively impacting consumer confidence in pork, despite the fact that African swine fever does not pose a danger to humans.

In addition to depressed consumer demand, Reuters Germany has reported that pork traders in China have reduced pork imports from the US. This has largely been attributed to the escalating trade war between the US and China. This week alone, the USDA reports that Chinese traders have cancelled over 3,000 tonnes of US pork imports. This represents the largest cancellation in over a year.

Both of these factors are keeping pork prices within China steady, despite China culling significant portions of its swine herd and production ceasing on multiple farms. Reliance on frozen stocks of pork are also keeping prices at the same level as they were in April. Industry analysts have indicated that pork prices are expected to move in the second half of the year. This is because farms infected with ASF have not repopulated – meaning that the supply will remain low.

You can read more about these stories here and here.