China’s meat shortage

Russia bans Chinese Citrus

Since January 6, 2020, the Rosselkhoznadzor (Russian competent phytosanitary authority) bans imports of citrus from China. The corresponding decision was made by the department on December 30, 2019 following the results of telephone conversations with the PRC Main Customs Directorate. See more




China lifts ban on US poultry

A market worth over $500 million to US poultry farmers had been closed for five years following an avian flu outbreak. But now China has lifted the ban in order to fill a pork-shaped gap left by swine fever.

China formally reopened its market to US poultry on Thursday, ending a long-standing import ban.

«After being shut out of the market for years, US poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products» said Sonny Purdue, US secretary of agriculture.

«It’s critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the world,» he added in a tweet.

China is likely to import all types of chicken, turkey and duck, as well as parts of poultry that are not usually consumed in the US such as chicken feet.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer welcomed the lifting of the «unwarranted» ban.

«China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion (€0.9 billion), worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China,» he said.

The US Food Safety and Inspection Service last week lifted its restrictions on the import of poultry slaughtered in China. It is another step in normalizing relations between the two countries as they attempt to resolve a damaging tariff war.

From avian flu to swine fever

The Chinese government banned all US poultry following an outbreak of avian flu in the US in December 2014.

The ban had remained in place ever since, despite the US being cleared from the outbreak in 2017.

Prior to the ban, the US market for poultry imports into China had been worth over $500 million, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

China is struggling to fulfill its population’s demand for meat during an ongoing swine fever epidemic that has nearly doubled the price of pork over the past year.

Europe: Pork shortage predicted over swine fever in China

A 50% collapse in Chinese pork production due to the swine fever epidemic could prompt price rises for schnitzel in Europe. A bidding war with the world’s largest consumer of pork products is now underway.

Germany’s BVDF meat industry association sounded a «schnitzel alarm» as farmers and food producers struggled to deal with the impact of widespread outbreaks of African swine fever in China.

Although there has yet to be a case in Germany, and the fever is harmless to humans, the BVDF said consumers must prepare for significant price hikes for bacon, sausages and even Schnitzel — breaded and fried pork cutlets.

Sausage will definitely be more expensive next year

Pork Prices have tripled

European producers have yet to pass on the tripling in price of many pork products, including fatback and pork shoulder, due to an ultracompetitive market.

She added that the crisis had pushed many German firms to the edge of bankruptcy and that price hikes were now inevitable.

China has culled more than 1 million pigs since the fever first appeared in August 2018, although some experts think the official figures have been vastly underestimated.

China imports double

In an attempt to contain price rises for consumers, China is on course to more than double imports of pork products to over 3 million tons by the end of the year, according to government estimates.

«The Chinese are buying what they can on the world market,» market analyst Tim Koch told Bild. He predicted that the epidemic would hit global prices for several years.

Shipments of pork products from the European Union to China rose 37% between January and April, according to European Commission figures.

China has also lifted import restrictions on American poultry products imposed five years ago due to an outbreak of avian flu.

Pork prices have already reached record highs in China, although the release of strategic reserves of frozen products have helped to stabilize prices.

African swine fever caused cyber war between gangsters and farmers in China

Swine fever is raging in China. Millions of pigs have died. Pork production is at risk of dropping by half by the end of the year. African swine fever broke in China in August 2018. The virus is almost 100% lethal for a pig, but at the same time completely harmless to humans. Animals can be infected directly from a sick individual or through equipment, clothing, and some types of ticks. Over a year and a half, the disease, according to official data, “mowed” more than 100 million animals, which is 40% of the total swine population in the country. In all, about a quarter of the world’s pig population is expected to die as a result of this epidemic. Because of real shortage of pork, its prices soared over the year by 110%. The demand for pork meat is enormous (China is the main consumer and producer of pork in the world), and the supply has decreased significantly due to the death of a huge number of animals. Because of this, retail prices have crawled up, and farmers are forced to sell sick pigs to wholesalers for nothing, because otherwise they risk not getting anything at all.

It is not surprising that the crisis in the country provoked an increase in pork prices throughout the world. It’s all because the Chinese government gave permission to buy meat abroad — in Europe and even in the United States, despite the trade war to cover the demand, which is always growing with the approach of the Chinese New Year in late January.

To counter the epidemic, scientists are not only trying to create a vaccine, but also modify the DNA of the pigs themselves. In truth, almost all Chinese pigs have already been modified — they have a gene for accelerated growth, a gene that allows you to fight the cold, and even a gene for a better taste, but now scientists have a different task — to keep the livestock alive.

While there is no vaccine, ordinary farmers are trying to somehow cover the losses, which can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some feed pigs much more than usual to sell more. Some even set a record by raising pigs with the weight of a polar bear. Farmer Ban Kong raised a 500-kilogram pig and expects to earn $ 1,400 for it — these are three monthly salaries in his region.

Others switch to breeding birds, but not everything is good here. Due to the increased demand among buyers, retail prices for chicken in China rose over the past six months by 25%. At the same time, supply from new farmers increased, which led to lower prices for themselves. Simply put, the buyer began to pay more, but the profit of the farmers did not increase.

The whole economy during the crisis gave rise to one interesting phenomenon. Wanting to earn more from the resale of pork, many “wholesalers” decided that they could buy meat from farmers at bargain prices, and for this they began to poison the herd with their own hands to make the purchase price minimal.

It works like this: a reseller who wants to buy meat cheaply launches a drone on the farm with food infected with plague. Animals begin to hurt and die, the farmer needs to urgently sell them, and here «black dealers» appear and buy a herd for nothing. Then they smuggle into another region of the country, where they sell it at a retail price, which has already grown 2 times in a year, under the guise of healthy meat.

Farmers figured out how to answer. They began to install “jammers” for drones in their sections, but, as it turned out, this equipment interferes not only with pork plague drones, but also with ordinary civilian aircraft. The authorities have not yet figured out what to do with this, so far ordinary people suffer from pigs, dealers and farmers.

But some earned more on the crisis than others. Qin Yinlin, Chairman of Muyuan Foodstuff, a pig breeding company, has increased his fortune 4 times over the past year to $ 8.6 billion. This does not make him the richest man in the world (and even in China), but his income the fastest growing Bloomberg billionaire index, which lists the 500 richest people in the world.

There is also the WH Group, the world’s largest producer of pork, and the New Hope Group, which manufactures animal feed, and they and other large producers were able to occupy a large market share, as small companies were forced to cease operations due to heavy losses.

So far, meat prices in China are still rising. Experts say that this trend will exist for at least the entire first half of 2020, and it will be possible to restore the population to at least the previous level no earlier than in 5 years.

Ukraine among three main foodstuffs exporters to the EU

Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU grew by 41%

During the year — from November 2018 to October 2019, Ukraine exported agricultural products to the European Union for 7.3 billion euros. This allowed Ukraine to take third place among the largest exporters of agricultural products in the EU. The first place is occupied by the USA, which exported agricultural products to the EU for 12.3 billion euros, the second — Brazil with an indicator of 11.7 billion euros. The top 5 also included China (6.2 billion euros) and Argentina (5.1 billion euros). The volume of agricultural exports from Ukraine to the EU is growing annually. Compared with the previous period (November-2017 — October-2018), it increased by 41%, in monetary terms — by 2.1 billion euros.