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China's pork losses cannot be easily replaced by other proteins

In 2019, Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35%. This loss is at least 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production and nearly as large as Europe’s annual pork supply.

With African swine fever’s grip on China, the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness team expects the country to see a 30% loss in pork production this year, which could result in a net supply gap of almost 10 million metric tons in the total 2019 animal protein supply. Christine McCracken, RaboResearch animal protein analyst, says other proteins and larger pork imports will not be able to keep up with the protein demand.

“African swine fever has spread to every province in mainland China and is now affecting an estimated 150-200 million pigs,” says McCracken. “The expected 30% loss in pork production is unprecedented. These losses cannot easily be replaced by other proteins like chicken, duck and seafood, nor will larger pork imports be able to fully offset the loss.”

Today, the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness team has released new estimates and analysis on the global protein supply given the spread of ASF in China and Southeast Asia. In the article, “Rising African Swine Fever Losses to Lift All Protein Boats,” the team discusses the Chinese pork production shortfall, along with shortfalls in Southeast Asia as well as challenges and opportunities for animal protein exporters. 

  • In 2019, Rabobank expects Chinese pork production losses of 25% to 35%. This loss is at least 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production and nearly as large as Europe’s annual pork supply.
  • In addition, Rabobank expects production losses to exceed 10% in Vietnam — the world’s fifth largest pork-producing country and a significant supplier to China.
  • The shift in global trade patterns to meet animal protein demand will be highly dynamic. This will create opportunities for those companies with an exportable surplus and access to China and Southeast Asia. Weekly U.S. pork shipments to China hit 78,000 tons last week. 
  • Rabobank believes there will be a net supply gap of almost 10 million metric tons in the total 2019 animal protein supply, which will increase farmgate and consumer prices.

Animal protein companies with an exportable surplus and access to markets in China and Southeast Asia stand to benefit from the impacts of ASF, according to the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness team. The European Union, the United States and Brazil appear best placed to respond to increased import demand for pork and other animal proteins into China and Southeast Asia.

Source: RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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