Ahead of the Chinese New Year, China will release 20,000 metric tons of frozen pork in state-held reserves. China has previously released more than 100,000 metric tons of pork from state reserves since last month, seeking to stabilize supplies following impacts of African swine fever. A Chinese Agriculture Ministry official told the South China Morning Post this week that the African swine fever situation “is still severe and complex,” adding the risk of outbreaks rise with the increase of live hogs in the nation.
China’s sow herd declined roughly 40 percent, perhaps more since the initial outbreak of ASF in the nation. However, Chinese officials say the herd has increased two percent in December. Restocking the herd poses the risk of recontamination, if efforts to eliminate the presence of the disease in pork producing facilities failed. However, for U.S. producers, China’s ASF troubles and the expected signing of a phase one trade agreement provide export opportunity. China is the largest producer and consumer of pork on the globe.