As ASF (African Swine Fever) continues to spread throughout Asia, decimating hog herds, you can’t help but notice an interesting correlation. When ASF was first announced to have been found in China on August 3rd, 2018, the world wasn’t aware of the long-term effects it would have to reach across the globe.
The New York Times has compared the devastating effects of ASF to “no less devastating than a war” in an opinion article posted on January 1st. It spread quickly, and as we shared recently, some reports have upwards of 80% of China’s pigs now gone. Not to mention the other countries in the region facing disease outbreaks.
Pork is a staple food of the Chinese diet, but as ASF has wiped out more than half of the largest producer of pigs in the world, shifting consumer preferences are bound to be seen with such high prices. These shifts will probably be seen largest moving to an even higher demand for poultry in the SE Asia region.
Effects Felt Already
One thing to note is that ASF isn’t a “new” disease. It has gained attention primarily due to the fact that China contains (used to) the world’s largest pig herd. But with estimates of over 50-80 percent of their pigs gone, there are bound to effects being felt since the first outbreak back in August 2018. But reducing the world’s largest hog herd is bound to move markets as the large reduction in supply translates to higher prices, shifting preferences, and altering substitute markets across the globe.
Where will global meat and protein markets stabilize? We await the all-mighty invisible hand to let us know. Until then, follow AgPresent for more updates on today’s current topics in food and agriculture.