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African Swine Fever in China

In August 2018, China reported its first-ever cases of African swine fever (ASF). China’s first ASF outbreak was announced Aug. 3 in the northeastern province of Liaoning. As of June 2019, about 150 ASF outbreaks had been reported in China, including some at large-scale commercial facilities.

On Sept. 7, 2018, following an emergency meeting in Bangkok, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a media statement that the rapid spread of ASF across China will almost certainly extend into other Asian nations. However, at this point it is difficult to estimate the extent to which ASF will impact China’s pork production or the degree to which it will increase China’s need for imported pork. When asked for comment on this situation, USMEF is very careful not to speculate about such an impact. Our primary message it to emphasize that the U.S. industry is an excellent candidate to help fill any additional need for imported in China, but would be in a much better position to do so if U.S. pork was not subject to an additional 50% retaliatory duty. This makes the duty rate for U.S. pork 62% – more than five times the standard rate of 12% that China assesses on frozen pork from other suppliers.

UPDATE: Despite ongoing trade tensions and China’s retaliatory duties on U.S. pork remaining in place, June 2019 pork exports to China showed encouraging results. June export volume was the largest in more than three years at 41,704 metric tons, up 123% year-over-year, valued at $88.5 million (up 77%). This pushed first-half exports to China 23% ahead of last year in volume (177,060 mt) and 3% higher in value ($353.1 million).

If you receive a media request on the ASF situation in China, please contact Joe Schuele at jschuele@usmef.org or call him at 303-547-0030 for assistance.