What Happened: The African swine fever virus may have already decimated Chinese swine herds by 40 percent over the last year, according to a Rabobank estimate, greatly exceeding previous appraisals of 15 to 26 percent, Reuters reported July 29.
Why It Matters: There has been a lack of transparency in tracking the virus' impact, but if the Rabobank estimates are correct, it would likely take China at least five years to replenish its pig herds, which would require the country to increase its pork imports and greatly reduce its demand for feed, including soybeans.
Background: China is the world's largest pork producer and consumer, and a breakout of African swine fever has greatly reduced the country's pig stock.
- Propelled by U.S. Trade Talks, China Charts a Course to Soybean Security (June 28, 2019)
- Agriculture Is Still Vital to U.S. Trade Talks — For Now (May 2, 2019)
- The End of Strategic Luxury for China (Feb. 14, 2019)