Pork prices have surged this year as an outbreak of African swine fever sweeps across Asia, with up to 200 million hogs expected to die. Ted Seifried, Zaner Ag Hedge’s chief market strategist, estimates that China has lost 35% of its herd, which is larger than the U.S. hog herd population. Despite a 62% tariff on U.S. pork products because of the U.S.-China trade war, export sales of pork to China was 37,000 metric tons — “a surprise,” Seifried told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move.
So, the devastation in Asia could be a much-needed pick me up for U.S. farmers. “There's a tremendous amount of opportunity for us to be selling pork to China,” said Seifried. “They like their pork... That's the protein that they want. So the opportunity is really there for us to be sending a lot more pork to China.”
But the big question is whether the U.S. is capable of increasing pork sales to China. “Do we have the cold storage facilities at the ports? Do we have the cold storage containers to really amp up our exports to China on a really grand scale,” he said.
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