China will be forced to increase pork imports as production in that country falls due to the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
According to Rabobank analyst, Justin Sherrard, China normally imports about 2,5 million tons of pork a year, but will likely need up to two million tons of added imports.
It has been reported that more than one million pigs have been slaughtered in the fight against ASF, but some analysts have estimated that this number was probably much higher.
“We think it won’t be until around about May, maybe June of this year, that we really start to see an [increase] in import requirements from China,” Sherrard said.
He said he expected China to continue shifting production to the north of the country into larger, more modern facilities.
Sherrard also predicted that live animal transport restrictions would be eased later this year, relieving some of the bottlenecks between production and processing.
Meanwhile, a new report from the Swine Health Information Centre in the US said ASF continued to spread in China, with the first outbreaks now also reported in Gansu and Ningxia provinces.