China's pork production to drop further - Rabobank
The latest Rabobank quarterly report on pork predicts that China is to increase pork imports by 1 million tonnes this year, reaching 4 million tonnes, a volume that equals the Brazilian pig meat production. Since the beginning of the African swine fever in China (August 2018), the national swine inventory has decreased by almost 50% and signs in herd rebuilding are seen only in large companies with better biosecurity and modern farming facilities, observes Chenjun Pan, Senior Analyst - Animal protein, Rabobank.
"ASF continues to spread in China, though the pace has slowed. Policies encourage restocking and production expansion, which is currently conducted by large companies with better biosecurity and modern farming facilities. As restocking is mainly achieved by keeping gilts, we expect to see a further drop in local production in 2020, which will reduce overall pork production. This suggests imports will increase in 2020, above record levels," commented the analyst.
Brazil and the US are expected to increase their shipments of pork to China, while the EU's role of main supplier of pig meat in the Chinese market depends on several factors that can impact the pork production. Among those, the Brexit trade-deal negotiation and local ASF risks are the ones that can drag pork production bellow the level of 1% increase predicted for this year.