An expected reshuffle of the global pork market


An expected reshuffle of the global pork market

The chief economist for the US Meat Export Federation says African swine fever remains the key driver behind pork trade in 2020. Erin Borror says with Germany out of the current global trade picture, following multiple confirmed cases of the virus in its wild boar population, it could force a reshuffling of pork trade.  

She says there could also be additional opportunities for the US to increase its already-large volumes of pork heading into China.  “Looking at Chinese import data, they were importing nearly 50,000 tons of pork cuts from Germany each month,” she says.  “That had doubled from last year’s pace.  So it will be a scramble for everyone looking to substitute in.” And globally, Germany accounted for about 9 percent of pork exports through the first half of this year.

Borror says opportunities could also arise for the US to increase exports to other Asian countries, but on a much more limited basis.  “In Korea, Germany was mostly shipping in single-rib bellies,” she says.  “So, we will not see a US substitution there, especially with our limited labor.  And Japan had already shifted heavily back to the US.”

Just this week Germany’s federal agriculture ministry confirmed three more cases of African swine fever in wild boars in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 32. 

All of the cases, so far, have been in wild animals, with no infections in the domestic herd.