And I'm not talking deplorables.
As my favorite translator of Mandarin tells me, Chinese people love pork. And we've been babbling on about China's Strategic Pork Reserve for over a decade. Here's 2010's '"...Pork Signals Record Meat Prices' and China's Strategic Pork Reserve (SFD)":
I just threw Smithfield's symbol into the headline, neither story directly mention's the country's largest hog and pork producer. We first mentioned the Strategic Pork Reserve in an October 2007 post "Is China Going to Own the World?".As it turned out, Smithfield was purchased by China's largest protein processor, Shuanghui International Holdings (now WH Group), in 2013 in a move that triggered a national security review in the U.S., I kid you not,
Anyhoo, China has been playing power politics for something like 5000 years and should President Trump go through with the threatened tariffs the Chinese will strike directly at his base while the porkers breathe a little easier as a major export market is taken off the table, so to speak.
While it will hardly come as a surprise considering that trade wars always evolve in an escalating tit-for-tat manner, the WSJ reports that just hours ahead of Trump's announcement of as much as $60 billion in tariffs targeting Beijing, China is preparing to hit back with its own countertariff aimed at President Donald Trump’s support base, including levies targeting U.S. agricultural exports from farmbelt states in retaliation to the mounting trade offensive from Washington....MORE
At the same time, and in hopes of avoiding further escalation, Beijing is also reportedly weighing concessions, including easing restrictions on foreign investments in securities firms and insurance companies.
In taking a stick-and-carrot approach, President Xi Jinping is seeking to avoid escalating trade tensions with the Trump administration.Should the carrot not work, China's "stick" is said to target U.S. exports of soybeans, sorghum and live hogs....
“Any Chinese response to new U.S. tariffs would be measured and proportional,” said a Chinese official involved in policy-making.
And from Bloomberg via AgWeb, March 20:
US Pork 'Easy Target' for China Tariffs
A boost in China’s sow herd means pork from the U.S. is an “easy target” amid escalating trade tensions between the nations.
Pork prices in China have dropped after hogs tumbled as much as 30 percent in the past three months, analysts at Vertical Group, a New York-based investment bank, said in a report. For the Asian nation, “the timing would be opportune for a ban on pork exports in more ways than one,” the report said.
China, the world’s top pork consumer, is one of the leading buyers of U.S. agricultural goods and is the second-largest market for the meat by volume, industry data show....MOREHere's the ten second tutorial on Ag cycles:
The Hog Cycle
No not Harley-Davidson, although I imagine some econ grad student has written the paper.
Wheat and hogs are two commodities with long price series. We mentioned the hog cycle back in January:
The hog price series is one of the longest we have records for, back to the 1200's. The cycle is:
slaughter begets scarcity begets higher prices begets breeding begets over-supply begets slaughter. It's been going on for a while....