For months, the crème de la crème of the world’s ag-commodity traders have celebrated the African swine fever currently rattling China’s pig export industry — which is expected to wipe out ⅓ of China’s pig pen this year.
The big pig sick — which has forced China to seek more protein than ever from overseas — will definitely benefit some ag-traders around the globe. But the question is, who will win and who will lose?
It all depends on location, location, location
Pigs gotta eat — and success will ultimately depend on whether the nations where meat-export demand is set to rise have the soybeans required to feed the hungry swine.
The US would normally be one of the most competitive meat suppliers, but the current trade war has left China to look on as American pork desperately waves its hands in the air.
According to animal protein economist Will Sawyer, South American soybean-crushers are most likely to benefit from increased demand for Brazilian meat that has been caused by Beijing and Washington’s (figurative and literal) beef.
But China can’t ignore the US forever
Asia consumes half the world’s pork — a meat-thirst South America won’t be able to satiate alone. And that leaves companies like Minneapolis-based Cargill well-positioned to benefit.
According to Bloomberg, the company has 5 plants in China, and accounts for almost 20% of its total soybean processing.