Friday, August 30, 2019

"I've Never Seen Anything Like This": China Reels As Pork Prices Explode To Record Levels

From ZeroHedge:
One could see it coming from a mile away, but still the breakout in Chinese pork prices as a result of the country's "pig ebola" outbreak and the ongoing trade war with the US, is a sight to behold.
As the chart below shows, pork prices in China have soared to record highs in the past two weeks, adding pressure on a government trying to contain food-price inflation during the trade war with the U.S., even as the country's Producer Price index posted its first negative print in 3 years, putting China in a bind: contain soaring food inflation, or stimulate the economy and risk an angry public backlash (something we discussed extensively two weeks ago).
Prices of China's favorite protein - used in dishes such as lunchtime dumplings and spicy mapo tofu — have surged 18% in China in just two weeks, since the week ended Aug. 9 and are up more than 50% in the past year. The average price of pork, excluding offal, in the week ended Aug. 23 was 31.77 yuan a kilogram ($2.02 a pound), according to data from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The cause for the price surge is well-known: African swine fever, which has been raging across China, and Asia, has decimated pork supplies. China’s pig herd had fallen 32% on year in July, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Some analysts expect 2019 production could fall as much as 50% by the time the "pig ebola" is contained....