In this file:
· Is China experiencing a meat crisis?
· China's food supply imperiled
Is China experiencing a meat crisis?
Li Jianhua, China Global Television Network (CGTN)
CGTN Headquartered in Beijing - 07-Jun-2019
China continues struggling with meat imports as the unprecedented African swine flu sweeps across the country. The intense China-U.S. trade war might make the situation worse, as high tariffs are imposed on U.S. farm produce. Currently, Chinese meat importers are switching their attention to other options to fill the gap for the nation's meat demands.
Research shows Chinese people consume an average of 55 million tons of pork on a yearly basis, according to Research on China Pig Breeding Market and Its Development (2017-2023).
African swine fever
African swine flu has swept across China since last year and has been playing havoc on the second largest economy's pork industry worth some 128 billion U.S. dollars.
Chinese authorities in April went on record as saying that pork prices will continue to rise in the second quarter of this year.
"A rapid rise in pork prices is likely to appear in the second half of the year with the further decline of pig supply and the rising demand during holidays," said Tang Ke, an official with Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA).
Average wholesale prices of pork stood at nearly three U.S. dollars per kilo in March, up 6.3 percent on a monthly basis, ending a declining streak since the outbreak of African swine flu last August, according to the ministry.
Growth in pork prices is expected to surpass 70 percent in the second half of 2019 compared with that of last year -- based on experts' primary estimates.
To offset the negative effects on China's pork market, over 74 million pigs across China were slaughtered for meat from January to April, according to MARA. The figure -- compared with the same period of last year -- dropped by about eight percent, but higher than that in 2017 by over nine percent.
Nevertheless, observers say there is not enough pork in "the whole world combined" to fill the massive demands for China's pork market -- owing largely to the African swine flu.
"Demand for pigs is usually higher in the summer, but the lack of supply is creating an imbalance. It's reflected in pork and food prices and also seen in a CPI growth. There will be a great impact on the world market," said Liu Chunsheng, Associate Professor with Central University of Finance and Economics.
China reportedly detected the virus in pig farms in August last year, and the disease soon swept across most parts of the country, as the virus is highly contagious among pigs. The disease can also be passed on to pigs that consume virus-laden feed, via contaminated clothing, equipment, or water.
Since the outbreak of the flu, Chinese pig farmers have been ordered to kill and bury infected animals. But some pig farmers killed their pigs -- including those that have been found sick -- and stocked up the pork to minimize their losses, according to some business insiders.
The virus, though quite contagious among pigs, is not affecting human beings if the pork is well cooked. Regardless, many pork consumers are still quite skeptical. "What if the virus mutates and turns out to be harmful to human health," said one consumer to CGTN.
The disease currently is also found in China's neighboring countries, including Mongolia, Vietnam and the DPRK. But the sources of contamination remain unknown as of yet, and vaccines have not been found.
Trade war reduces China's pork supplies? ...
China's food supply imperiled
By Chriss Street, American Thinker
June 7, 2019
China’s food supply is being imperiled as new reports warn that up to 50 percent of China’s 440 million pigs are now at risk from African Swine Fever infection.
The South China Morning Post reported that Chairman Chan Kin Yip of the Federation of Hong Kong Agricultural Associations claimed that Chinese mainland pig farmers told him African Swine Fever has spread to 30 percent of mainland pigs, while another Hong Kong pig farmer based in China told Yip the exposure rate is as high as 50 percent.
With $23.8 billion of agricultural imports from the U.S. in 2017, retaliatory tariffs directly aimed at President Trump’s rural voter base was expected to be China’s hammer to bludgeon the U.S. into abandoning its Trade War. Accounting for 17 percent of U.S. agricultural exports, Chinese customers were number one in soybeans; number two in pork and hay; number three in dairy and poultry; number four in beef, and number five in wheat.
First detected in August 2018, the raging pandemic of highly communicable African Swine Fever has spread to every mainland province and Hong Kong. The virus causes blackened lesions, diarrhea, abortion, respiratory illness, and then death in 7 to 10 days.
With production declines of -35 percent and prices spiking +40 percent, the disease is wreaking havoc on the China’s $128 billion a year pork industry. Although Beijing has encouraged the provinces to provide financial support to large-scale pig farms, the loss of sales and cost to cull up to 220 million infected pigs is a huge burden on the people.
The African Swine Fever has jumped the Chinese border to over 52 cities in Vietnam, leading to the culling of more than 2 million pigs. With the fear of the disease growing, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc instructed various ministries to urge more pig culling.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection partnering with the Department of Agriculture, confiscated 1 million pounds of Chinese pork smuggled into a port in New Jersey in March. Meat was mislabeled and hidden “among other products such as ramen noodles and tide detergent pods” in 50 shipping containers, according to the Feed Navigator.
Tightening of customs controls at Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan borders, is beginning to cause delivery delays in Asia’s highly integrated production supply chains.
Geopolitical Futures emphasizes that China’s food supply is also being endangered due to other developing risks. The Fall Armyworm has spread to 220,000 acres (89,000 hectares) in Southern China, ruining primarily corn and some sugar cane crops. With no natural predators in China, the USDA warned “there is a high probability that the pest will spread across all of China’s grain production area within the next 12 months.”
The Chinese government recently confirmed another episode of A(H5N6) bird flu in China’s Xinjiang Province...
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