In this file:


·         China Is So Desperate for Pork That It's Buying American Again

·         China buys U.S. pork despite trade tariffs as hog disease spreads

·         Swine fever adds to China's economic headaches



China Is So Desperate for Pork That It's Buying American Again


By Lydia Mulvany and Megan Durisin, Bloomberg

November 29, 2018,


A disease sweeping through Chinese hog herds is helping negate the effects of the trade war for American farmers, with U.S. pork sales to the Asian nation back to levels before tariffs were introduced.


China was the third-largest buyer of pork in U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly data released Thursday. The 3,300 metric ton-purchase was the most since February, a month before China imposed tariffs on U.S. pork. Hog futures rose 4.4 percent in Chicago, the most in two weeks.


“This is a game changer,” said Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services Inc. “It gives confirmation that the disease is far worse than what we’ve been told.”


Outbreaks of African swine fever have been reported at farms in 20 Chinese provinces since August, with about 600,000 hogs culled. But until now, the country has abstained from upping its imports from the U.S.


The U.S. also reported sales of another 9,400 tons to China in 2019.


Some cuts are dirt cheap due to a pileup of domestic supplies, with wholesale loins for example at the lowest price since 2002. “When they see a staple of their diet on sale,” they’re going to start buying it, Smith said.


— With assistance by Dominic Carey


document, plus active chart, photo, active map



China buys U.S. pork despite trade tariffs as hog disease spreads


Tom Polansek & Michael Hirtzer, Reuters

November 29, 2018


CHICAGO (Reuters) - China is loading up on U.S. pork, despite import tariffs imposed due to the trade war, as a highly contagious swine disease ravages the Chinese hog herd.


The world’s top hog producer and pork consumer last week placed its largest order for American pork since the trade war began, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday.


The purchases are a signal that an outbreak of African swine fever is raising concerns of an eventual supply shortfall, potentially superseding trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies, brokers and traders said.


“It’s kind of like, why do you buy from your enemy? Because you have to,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa-based broker U.S. Commodities.


China has imposed retaliatory tariffs on imports of U.S. farm products in the tit-for-tat trade row, including duties of 62 percent on American pork.


U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet on Saturday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires to discuss trade amid increasing tensions.


China in the week ended Nov. 22 bought 3,348 tonnes of pork to be shipped this year, USDA said, its largest purchase for the current season since February.


China also bought 9,384 tonnes of pork for shipment next year, accounting for 72 percent of the total weekly sales to all countries.


Combined, they were the biggest weekly sales to China since April 2017, sending U.S. hog futures LHG9 up more than 4 percent.


The deals come as China may buy pork for its state reserves to support farmers struggling to sell pigs during the African swine fever epidemic.


“Pork is abundantly supplied right now in China; prices are low. That doesn’t mean there will be plenty of pork in China next year,” said Brett Stuart, president of U.S. advisory Global AgriTrends.


The sales could benefit pork exporters such as WH Group Ltd’s (0288.HK) Smithfield Foods and Seaboard Corp (SEB.A).


Smithfield Chief Executive Ken Sullivan said in October that African swine fever could roil global pork markets...





Swine fever adds to China's economic headaches


By Joe McDonald, Associated Press

via Agri News (MN) - Nov 29, 2018


BEIJING — Chinese pig farmers, already reeling from rising feed costs in Beijing’s tariff fight with U.S. President Donald Trump, face a new blow from an outbreak of African swine fever that has sent an economic shockwave through the countryside.


First detected in August, the disease has killed 1 million pigs, prompting authorities to restrict shipments of most of China’s 700 million swine, even though nearly all are still healthy. That has disrupted supplies of pork, China’s staple meat, to big cities while prices collapsed in areas with an oversupply of pigs that farmers are barred from shipping to other provinces.


“I can only manage to break even at the current price,” said a breeder on the outskirts of Shenyang, northeast of Beijing, where the first case was reported Aug. 3. She said she was rearing about 100 pigs and would give only her surname, Yan.


“Unless we see a higher price for pigs, all my work this year would have gone for nothing,” Yan said.


African swine fever doesn’t affect humans but is highly contagious in pigs, making it a serious threat to farm areas.


In mid-November, the first cases were reported in Beijing, the capital. Authorities said a total of 86 pigs at two farms in suburban Fangshan district died.


Xiamen Airlines, a mid-size Chinese carrier, also announced it was suspending use of pork in in-flight meals.


The outbreak adds to a swarm of challenges for Chinese leaders as they grapple with Trump over Beijing’s technology policy and try to shore up cooling growth in the world’s second-largest economy.


“Farmers have been losing money in pig-breeding provinces for the past couple of months and their confidence has been shattered,” said Feng Yonghui, chief analyst of, a pork industry consultant.


The cost of raising pigs spiked after Beijing retaliated for Trump’s tariff hikes on Chinese goods by slapping 25 percent duties on imported U.S. soybeans used as animal feed...