A global animal proteins analyst says he expects China will be forced to import more pork later this year.

Justin Sherrard with Rabobank says China normally imports around two and a half million metric tons of pork a year. But he says as their pork production starts to decrease because of the African Swine Fever outbreak, they’ll probably need to buy an extra one to two million tons.

“You’ve seen a a fair bit of pork going into cold stores, and we think it won’t be until around about May, maybe June of this year that we really start to see a pickup in import requirements from China.”

And, he says U.S. pork producers do have a chance to fill that need. “Yes, the U.S. exporters have a chance at this market. Absolutely, that’s the case, but it will require some breakthrough in terms of trade arrangements in order to see that happen.”

Sherrard expects China will continue to shift production north into larger, more modern facilities and he expects they will reduce live animal transport restrictions later this year, easing some of the bottlenecks between production and processing.

Source: AgriMarketing