In the middle of the trade war between China and the United States, a few items seem to be exempt from Beijing’s tariffs, U.S. Pork is one of them. Reported by Caixin, China has been dealing with a widespread outbreak of the African Swine fever, and has prompted the government to slaughter millions of pigs worth an estimated 1 trillion Yuan or $140 billion USD.
Li Defa of the College of Animal Science and Technology at the China Agriculture University noted that the 1 trillion yuan figure did not include secondary industries related to the pork industry, which would push losses even higher.
The outbreak has been going on for over year, and was first reported in the Liaoning province in August 2018. Since then, it has decimated 1/3 to half of the hog stock in the country.
Pork is usually an inexpensive meat and a staple for China’s lower and middle classes. Researches have estimated that if pork supplies exceed 50% losses, even foreign pork supplies will be unable to meet demand.
The demand for pork is so great in China, that the state released 10,000 tons in preparation for the National Day Holiday. This represented only 2 hours of all the pork consumed in the country.