Many farms in China infected with African swine fever are not restocking with pigs. Bloomberg News reports that 80 percent of farms infected with the deadly virus are not restocking, leaving a significant gap in production. China is the world’s largest pork producer, but agriculture officials in China say production has dropped 21 percent since African swine fever was first reported last August and a new outbreak on an island province was reported over the weekend.
The declining hog production in China will result in lower demand for soybeans and feed products, but an increase in the need for pork products. Officials in China say, “if confidence among breeders fails to recover, it will hurt consumers.” They predict pork supplies could start to tighten and prices may hit record levels in the second half of the year, before tightening further in 2020. Pork accounts for more than 60 percent of meat consumption in China.