China’s ASF Tragedy Continues: More Questions than Answers

ASF and the Markets 112119
( AgDay )

Just as the reported outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) began to diminish and the virus appeared to be more under control, recent ASF outbreaks in the northern region of China, where ASF was first detected in August 2018, prove otherwise.

“They've had a tremendous loss of hogs over there,” Jeff French of Top Third Ag Marketing told AgDay’s Clinton Griffiths. “There's going to be a run of pork everywhere throughout the world. And what they're going through is definitely bullish on all proteins throughout the world.”

It’s hard to get a handle on just how big the losses truly are.

“At the end of the day, they want to keep prices as cheap as they can,” French said. “What we do know is they are hurting and they will have to come to the world market to resupply those reserves.”

Do we still expect a “China ASF bounce” so to speak? Griffiths asked.

“If you look at the summer months, you have them up above 90 cents,” French said. “What I do caution everybody is if it is found here in our country, it could be devastating. Thankfully, it hasn't been. And hopefully it continues to be that way. But there are some things that you can do to protect yourself against that because it would be devastating for prices here in the States.”

Even if the U.S. stays free of ASF, French said it’s hard to know what to expect in 2020. 

“With China, we don't know. They could buy every hog that we have for export and probably then some. We've been to the 120-130 areas. That's definitely not out of the question.”

Read more at Watch the full interview on AgDay.

More from Farm Journal's PORK:

China Launches Investigation into Use of Illegal ASF Vaccines

Vietnam Needs More Pork

FAD Tabletop Exercise Provides Reality Check for Swine Industry