The African Swine Fever outbreak is forcing China to buy more U.S. pork in spite of high tariffs imposed during the trade war between the two countries.
China, the world’s biggest pork producer and consumer, placed its largest order for U.S. pork since the trade war began. A Reuters article says the purchase seems to signal that China has serious concerns about supply shortages due to the disease outbreak. Brokers and traders both say that could be potentially superseding trade tensions.
During the tit-for-tat trade war, China has imposed a tariff of 62 percent on imports of American pork. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were scheduled to meet and discuss trade tensions during the G20 meeting over the weekend in Buenos Aires.
For the week ending November 22nd, China bought more than 3,200 tons of pork to be shipped this year. USDA data shows that’s the biggest purchase of the season since February. China also bought close to 4,000 tons of pork to be delivered in 2019.
Brett Stuart, President of Global AgriTrends, says pork is abundant in China right now and prices are low. However, he adds “that doesn’t mean there will be plenty of pork in China next year.”