EMAILED ON September 12, 2019 BY Mia Sullivan

As China’s pork-pocalypse continues, it will tap into its ‘strategic pork reserves’

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

In China, it’s become a whole lot pricier to pig out over the past year thanks to an African swine fever that has devastated hog herds.

China’s pig population has shrunk by a third, causing the price of pork in China to increase by almost 50%

And the Chinese government is dreaming pig to solve the problem

Pork, a cultural staple, is the most popular meat in China. Chinese pork-ivores consume about 60m tons of pig each year — as much as the rest of the world combined.

The Chinese government has dispensed some of its “strategic” swine reserves, which it keeps frozen and on hand for times like these — and the country will likely need to dig deeper into this supply, given the increased demand for pork during the holiday season.

Can the US lend a helping hoof? 

Our hooves are tied due to the trade war with China, which intensified when the US imposed a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods early this month. American producers see China’s pork shortage as a potential opportunity for their piggy banks, but current tariffs on US pork products — at a whopping 62% — make Babe unaffordable.

The National Pork Producers Council has urged the White House to settle the Chinese trade dispute.

For its part, China appears to be lifting tariffs on some American goods in high demand — like cancer drugs and pesticides — but pork didn’t make the cut.